Treasure baskets are an invaluable activity for your baby to enjoy at home. They are filled with everyday items that you will find in your own home. They are recommended to be used with babies when they can sit up, either by themselves or with support. They provide so many benefits and promote so many learning experiences for your baby from discovery to making their own decisions, exploring taste and textures (placing items in their mouth), and promoting their fine motor skills (grasping the objects using their fingers and hands).
Your baby craves touching, handling, and mouthing new and different things (especially objects from real life). You’ll soon find out that there’s an endless list of objects inside your home—and outdoors—that are often more interesting to them than their actual toys.
The basket needs to have a flat bottom and be strong enough for your baby to lean on without tipping. Preferably it should be made from natural materials such as wicker but a container such as a small cardboard box or basin would do. It’s the items in the basket/container that your baby will be exploring.
Fill the basket to the top with a range of natural and everyday items. Some ideas of the items that can be used include:
- Large shells and large non-choke-able rocks, a big, smooth stick (like driftwood)
- Brushes: makeup, toothbrush, baby brushes, paintbrush, nail brushes, hairbrushes, shaving brush
- Ribbons: different widths and colours
- Pinecones: a variety of pinecones
- Measuring: cups, spoons, bowls
- Balls: felt, plastic, wood,
- Kitchen: basting brush, whisk, kitchen timer,
- Laundry: Pegs and large thread spools (with no thread)
Always supervise your baby so that small items are not mouthed and may be a choking hazard.
The aim of the collection is to fully engage your baby’s five senses: touch, sight, sound, smell, and taste.
Regularly change the items in the treasure basket and introduce new objects. Your baby loves to explore using their hands and mouth. All of this provides them with sensory experiences. By doing this they are also learning about weight, size, shape, texture, sound, and smell.
During treasure basket play, it is recommended that the caregiver does not participate in the Treasure Basket sessions, except to ensure the safety and maintain social interaction with your baby. Chat to your baby about what you see them holding or what they are doing. Your baby will love hearing your voice and this will all help with their speech and language development.
Have fun, be as creative as you like. This activity will provide your baby with so many learning experiences and something they will enjoy 😊