Creativity and learning about the world around you isn't just for toddlers. Treasure baskets are perfect for babies and my toddler likes to join in too with his little brother. The sensory experience of the treasure basket allows your baby to learn through touch, taste, feel and they can make their own decisions about what to pick up and move about.
I first found out about treasure baskets from an organisation called PEEP
. They work with "parents and practitioners to support babies' and children's learning and development"
A treasure basket can keep a baby occupied for longer than you could imagine
: Quick and easy to assemble and children will play anywhere from just a few minutes to much longer. My baby has been know to be happily occupied for half an hour or more.
: Babies to toddlers
Collection of different non plastic items from around the house
A shallow basket allows the baby to easily access whatever takes their fancy
I've found the best age to start is when your baby can sit up and reach for the objects but you could always have them sat on your knee and hand them items when they are younger.
Start with a shallow basket and then go on a hunt around your house.
If you have a look at your baby's toys, I bet most of them are brightly coloured plastic. They look great but they all feel the same. You're on the hunt for a wide variety of items.
Choose items of different textures, colours, shapes and sizes. Here are a few ideas.
- Wooden curtain rings
- Small shiny metal bowls
- Slippery material
- Small cardboard box
- Empty crisp packet, washed and reversed so it's both crinkly and shiny
- Clean toothbrush
- Wooden spoon
- Pine cones
- Soft toy
- Baby brush
Stay close by to your baby to ensure a safe and secure environment and a relaxed baby.
Do the activity at a time when they want to play rather than when they're tired or hungry.
Place your child next to the basket and let them explore for as long as they are happy.
Change the items in your basket on a regular basis to keep their interest up.