I first came across the idea of treasure baskets when I searched for activities to do with a baby. The concept, which was inspired by Elinor Goldschmied, suggests putting a range of natural, household and recycled objects into a sturdy basket and letting the child explore them independently. The idea is to avoid including plastic because it doesn’t offer much in the way of sensory stimulation.
I decided to put together a themed basket using objects that were shiny or reflective and I ended up using some plastic items. I included items such as a book with a mirror inside, our car seat mirror, a ladle, a shiny star and a plastic plate covered in tin foil. It is important to make sure that the items you choose are baby friendly especially as babies often mouth items, which is part of their natural development and should be encouraged. It is important to make sure that you supervise your child while they explore the treasure basket.
Although you need to supervise your child, the key idea is to leave your baby to explore without interrupting. By sitting nearby it offers the child security, but by just watching, it allows them to concentrate and explore freely. It was really interesting to watch Sophie pick up the objects and turn them over. She really concentrated.
It was fascinating to see how much she explored the objects by herself, choosing what she did and didn’t want to look at.
I love how this mirror grabbed her attention.
When she started to lose interest in the basket I started to blow some bubbles which she was fascinated by and tried really hard to catch.
When Sophie was younger, I set up a few different treasure baskets. I left them on the shelves in Sophie’s playroom so that she could play with them when she wanted to.
Treasure baskets are great because they cost nothing to put together and the objects can simply be changed when babies get bored of them.
This activity is good for:
- Moving and Handling – reaching out, touching and beginning to hold objects
- Developing sitting skills and leaning forward to pick up objects