Five ideas for making a Treasure Basket

Posted by iChild, January 09, 2019 9:07 AM

By Pears and Chocolate Sauce

It’s a well known fact that if you give a small child a gift, the thing they’ll be most interested in playing with is the packaging. Have you ever noticed this with your own children? Or they'll be playing with a lovely toy of theirs, only to lose interest afer a few minutes and play with something not meant for them? Enter the Treasure Basket.

Treasure Basket1

You may have come across the idea of a Treasure Basket before. The Treasure Basket is a concept created by Elinor Goldschmied, a British Educationalist. The idea is that babies aged 6-18 months can enjoy a ‘Treasure Basket’ of fairly ordinary household items, which can provide more stimulation and sensory input than traditional toys.

You can find out more about the Treasure Basket here, but for now I’m going to share some ideas for different treasure baskets which can be put together.

The original treasure basket would usually contain a mixture of a variety of items, but it’s a good idea to add and remove items regularly to keep it interestng. You can also theme Treasure Basket, which means different items may be removed or added depending on the theme.

Introduce a Treasure Basket with a range of metal, wooden, rubber or fabric objects. It’s best to try and stick to items made of natural materials as they offer more sensory interest than plastic objects. You can include a range of kitchen equipment, as well as some natural objects (such as pinecones) and items such as bracelets or scarves. My son’s favourite item for a long time was a metal nutcracker, as he loved the sound it made!

Sound basket
While as a general rule I stay away from ‘noisy toys’ (or at any rate, battery operated ones!), it’s fun to put together a ‘noise’ basket. This can include musical instruments, but could also include a range of objects which can be hit, shaken, tapped or scrunched. Include items such as metal and wooden spoons; tin cans (ensure there are no sharp edges - coffee canisters are great for this); tins or sturdy jars filled with rice or dried chickpeas and sealed; or a some foil for scrunching.

Shape basket
You might like to create a shape themed basket for children at the older age of the spectrum. For example, you could make a ‘circles’ basket, and include items such as a curtain ring, a bracelet, a pastry cutter, an unwanted CD, the lid of a jar, a cardboard tube, a small wooden or metal bowl, or a round coaster.

Colour basket
You can also theme Treasure Baskets by colour. At this point it becomes a little more difficult to avoid plastic items, so feel free to include them but try to have a range of materials if possible. Include coloured items such as balls, small cuddly toys, pieces of fabric, wooden blocks or stackers, ribbons or silicone ice cube trays.

Fabric basket
Introduce a range of difference fabrics to your baby. Have a delve through the scraps bin at your nearest fabric store and find a range of fabrics such as velvet, fake fur, fleece, netting, lace, sequinned fabric, stretchy fabric, hessian sacking and silk.

Treasure Basket2

Treasure Baskets are a great way to stimulate and entertain your young children. They offer so many benefits to development, particularly their ability to explore, investigate, take risks and build confidence.

By Pears and Chocolate Sauce


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