Last week I decided it was time to get the Treasure Basket out for Bee since she is now 6 months old! I propped her up in her play ring as she is not quite sitting up by herself yet. I based it on a wooden theme (apart from the butterfly- bought from a lovely shop in the Outer Hebrides last year!) I noticed that Bee played with the basket the first day it was out and really explored the items with her hands and mouth. However, the basket has been out since and she hasn't really been back to it much. Time to re-acquaint myself with the theory behind treasure baskets:
- Heuristic play is about exploring objects from the real world- natural and household items (not plasic toys which taste, smell and feel the same- giving little sensory feedback)
- The treasure basket objects should be chosen to stimulate the senses
- The baby makes their own choices about which items to explore (with the adult sitting nearby but not showing them how to play)
- Clear a space, away from other distractions
- The treasure basket should never be left out 24/7 for your baby to play with, as they will soon bore of the objects and become uninterested in them (this is where I have gone wrong!)
- Over time, objects can be added as you find them, for example:-
- Paper / cardboard objects: Egg boxes, notebook, sturdy cardboard tubes, small boxes that will fit inside each other
- Wooden objects: Door wedge, small turned bowl, dolly pegs, egg cup, wooden egg, spoons, curtain rings, coaster, bracelet, block, napkin rings, dowel, empty salt and pepper cellars.
- Leather, textile, rubber, or fur objects: Small knitted toy, bean bag, piece of flannel, velvet powder puff, bags of herbs, bag of lavender, leather key ring, coloured ribbons, leather purse.
- Rubber objects: Ball, bath plug with chain, soap holder, door stop, coaster.
- Metal objects: Honey drizzler, an egg cup, curtain ring, egg poacher, measuring spoons, tea strainer, whisk, powder compact, bells, lemon squeezer, small bowl, jar tops
- Natural objects: A lemon or orange, coconut shell, grass rope, sheepskin, pumice stone, loofah, shells, pine/fir cones, driftwood, avocado stone, large pebbles, corks
- Brushes: Scrubbing brush, pastry brush, baby's hair brush, nail brush, makeup brush, paint brush, shaving brush, wooden toothbrush.
- Other objects: small vanilla essence or food colouring bottle, hair rollers, small mirror, scent bags, bone shoe horn, ceramic bowl
I forgot that I have the Little Book of Treasure Baskets which has a great section on treasure baskets for older children relating to the EYFS areas of learning. I do have a storage box where I collect bits and bobs that I can use to make different themed treasure baskets. I need to put more items in the treasure basket and jest get it out for a 30 minute or so session each day when Bee looks interested rather than leaving it out the whole time.