Treasure Baskets

The best kind of play is where the child takes the lead and follows whatever is interesting at that moment. We can support that voyage of discovery by setting up a treasure box of interesting things a baby or toddler can choose to explore. This allows children to:

  1. Explore & discover using all their senses
  2. Make choices & develop preferences about what they want to discover
  3. Concentrate on what they are interested in and learn to be careful with things
  4. Develop hand-eye co-ordination and physical control as they manipulate objects to explore them.
childminding-ireland-image-of-toys

All you need are old baskets (or boxes or bags for older toddlers) and a variety of everyday objects - all cleaned and ready to be mouthed, of course! For the child, everything is new and extraordinary. You can put 5-6 things in at a time - too many treasures can be overwhelming.

All you do is:

  1. Put some objects in a basket
  2. Give the child time to explore them using all the senses – without interruption
  3. Sit quietly and observe what the child is interested in
  4. Arrange the objects together with the child
  5. Use the objects to talk to the child, maybe tell stories

You could organise your basket to explore the different senses, for example:

  1. Touch basket - fir cones, shells, feathers, sponge, hairbrush, corks
  2. Sound basket - bunch of keys, lids, spoons, jewellery, chimes, dry pasta, little boxes of rice
  3. Smell bag - small bags of spices, herbs, soaps, lemons, candles, lavender bags, leather

As children get older, they might want to create wonder collections of their own.