Why did I decide to create a Treasure Basket?
Babies and children find out about the world through their play and exploration, and using all their senses is part of that discovery. Piaget (1896-1980) a child development theorist recognised that babies aged 0-2 are in the ‘sensorimotor’ stage of development, which reaffirmed that babies learn by using their senses and movement to engage with what is in the world around them. So it is important that babies and children are present with rich learning experiences which allow them to explore through their senses and a Treasure Basket is the perfect way to provide this type of play experience. As the Treasure Basket is an open ended play resource, the learning opportunities are endless and every baby will get different benefits from it. It makes an ideal home learning resource for parents to use with their baby or child. I have seen first hand the many benefits of treasure baskets to a baby’s learning and development, as this was a topic I researched during my degree dissertation
The Treasure Basket and a Baby's Development
A Treasure Basket can support a baby’s learning and development in a number of different ways. They can support a baby’s learning and development in a number of different ways. Firstly it promotes sensory learning as they explore using all their senses as they look, touch, lick, bang, hold and drop the objects. It helps to support physical development as exploring different objects helps to build and strengthen muscles in a baby’s hands, along with promoting hand-eye co-ordination. It also supports cognitive skills as a baby will be concentrating and learning the properties of different objects through their exploration e.g. size/shape/texture. In addition it encourages independence and confidence as the baby will be exploring unusual objects in different ways.
Where did the Treasure Basket Concept come from?
The concept of the Treasure Basket was first developed by an early childhood researcher Elinor Goldschmied in the 1980s as an alternative play resource for babies to explore using their senses. She wanted to offer babies a more stimulating play experience which did not involve the normal plastic based toys. The perfect time to offer a baby a treasure basket is when they can sit upright unsupported. This is normally around 6-9 months old, but all babies are different. Even 1 year olds and 2 year olds benefit from the multi-sensory learning experience a treasure can provide.
Adult supervision is required at all times because the contents of the treasure basket are not toys, but instead are intended for sensory exploration with an adult.
Contents of the Little Gems Treasure Basket
The Treasure Basket contains 25 items, an assortment of wooden objects, metal objects and natural materials to stimulate all of a baby’s senses.
Each Treasure Basket is made of Seagrass and typically contains the following
objects (this list is subject to change depending on availability):-
One Fabric Leaf
One Metal Dessert Spoon
One Pine Cone
One Wooden Nail Brush
One Red Metal Jar Lid
One Metal Pudding Pot
One Wooden Paint Brush
Two Wooden Utensils (will either be a spatula, solid spoon or spoon with slits)
One Leather square
One Fabric square
One Material Organza bag containing dried orange
One Log Slice
One Heart Wooden Coaster
One Fruit Pattern Metal Jar Lid
One Fabric Scarf
One Metal Scoop
One Wooden Egg Cup
One Material Organza bag containing Lemongrass and Cardamom Seeds
One Metal Tin with Lid