We can never truly know what it is like to bite into a ripe juicyElinor Goldschemied, 1990
peach,until we have actually taken a bite ourselves.
After spending countless hours learning about open-ended materials and loose parts. I’ve delved into the realm of Treasure Baskets and the simplicity of making your own treasure basket for babies. To write this article, I had to research and trial at my preschool what makes a good loose part and formulate a list of materials.
A treasure basket is a collection of natural, household and recycled objects often kept in a basket.
I’ve made a guide of “must have” treasure basket ideas below.
Making your own Treasure basket
# Step 1: Find a low-sided and rigid basket, crate, box, or tin. This may be stashed away in a cupboard or a spare one at a relatives house. If you can’t find one I have linked one here that is on Amazon.
# Step 2: You’ll want to fill it with about 15 – 20 real-life, everyday objects. Over time add and change out items to encourage an infants curiosity and interest.
Examples of open-ended play materials to put in your basket
- Natural items you can find in your backyard or at your local beach/forest/park: Pine cones, flowers, pumice, large shells, driftwood, river stones, large natural gemstones, and/or seed pods.
- Man-made resources: Wood cookies, corks, wood napkin rings, metal cookie cutters, keys on a ring, loofah’s, ribbons, honey dipper (dip stick), wood spoon, large wood rings, mirror balls, wood peg dolls, cardboard tubes, scarf, a square piece of baking paper, jar rings, wooden eggs, large wood buttons, fabric off-cuts, wood trees, large felt balls, stainless steel ovals, large feather, wood brush, and/or wood scoop.
What Are The Benefits Of A Treasure Basket?
- Babies are able to make sense of their physical worlds
- Cause and effect – problem-solve.
- Experience textures, shapes, sizes, and
- Stimulating sensory exploration – taste, touch, and sound
- Discovery and concentration
- Social interactions with other infants
- Ability to make their own decisions through open-ended play
- Develop their fine and gross motor skills
- Opportunity to self-select objects to explore
If you don’t have the means to buy resources visit your local beach, park, or forest. Even head over to your local donation stores to pick up a few bits n’ bobs. If you are wanting to read more up on loose parts and open-ended resources, be certain to read my ‘what is