If you have ever searched the internet for baby play ideas I am sure that you have come across baby treasure baskets. Baby treasure baskets work particularly well for babies once they are sitting up but with thoughtful collation they can continue to be a fabulous heuristic play resource well into toddlerhood. Heuristic play is play that enables a person to explore, discover or learn something for and by themselves. A baby treasure basket is basically a collection of objects safe for baby exploration – the objects might be related to each other by a common attribute or they might be simply a collection of interesting everyday objects from around the home – and as babies are so naturally curious and learn about their world through hands on exploration, a treasure basket provides a virtual feast for discovery based learning.
In this case, I created a collection of shiny and reflective objects for AJ (twelve months of age) to explore as she has shown an ongoing interest in mirrors and her own reflection. Into a low sided basket I placed;
- A soft, lightweight mirror from a baby play mat
- A book that includes a mirror that AJ enjoys but we haven’t read for quite a while now
- An interesting, coloured plastic ball toy that is lined with a reflective surface
- Two silver-lined tin lids
- A toy pot
- A soup spoon
- An old CD
- A plastic, silver Christmas bauble
- A small cosmetic mirror that flips open
- A Cream of Tartar container that is lined with silver
- A piece of silver cellophane (alfoil would work just as well) that I cut a few shapes into and covered (both sides) with clear, self adhesive book covering (see below). A friend’s child recently made a similar ‘crinkle paper’ for AJ from coloured paper and she likes to listen to it crinkle as she scrunches it and enjoys playing peekaboo through the holes
Can’t you just see the exploring, thinking and learning happen!
Have you ever made a treasure basket for your baby to explore?
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