Inside: Encourage learning through exploration with this collection of shiny baby treasure basket ideas.
If you have ever searched the internet for baby play ideas I am sure that you have come across the idea of baby treasure baskets. 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.
Baby treasure baskets are a great play resource for babies once they are sitting, and with thoughtful collation they can continue to be a fabulous play resource well into toddlerhood.
Shiny Baby Treasure Basket Ideas
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.
The exploration begins…
Unsurprisingly AJ reaches for the spoon first, she loves to stir! The Cream of Tartar container becomes her stirring vessel.
Look Mum, I can bang and make noise too.
She continues to take items from the basket, examining each one. The cosmetic mirror holds her attention for a long time as she works to work out how to open and close it.
I am fascinated to watch her try to put the Christmas bauble into the small Cream of Tartar container. It doesn’t fit.
Maybe if I try it this way? Nope, still won’t go in. She tries again and again to try to get the bauble into the container.
Hmmm…maybe this lid will work instead. That’s sort of interesting but I am still tightly holding the bauble.
The tin lid is discarded and it’s back to trying to fit the bauble into the container.
After watching her keep trying for quite a long while I offer AJ a tall, cylindrical tin that the bauble will fit into. That’s more like it. I can fit it in!
And tip it out, or put my hand in and take it out, and I can shake it around and it makes noise, and I can put the spoon in as well,
And I can even stand up and do all of that too. It’s even more fun tipping it out from up here. It rolls around and I have to chase after it. And start all over again.
Can’t you just see the exploring, thinking and learning happen! And the best thing, she hasn’t yet even explored all of the contents of the basket so we can revisit this collection of shiny treasure basket items again and again on subsequent days.
Have you ever made a treasure basket for your baby to explore?
For more baby play ideas, check out these related posts;