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The appeal of Treasure Baskets

Treasure baskets can be filled with everyday objects which then become a treasure trove to ignite and spark imaginations and learning. Becky includes a rich diversity of items in her baskets to evoke different responses. Here she tells us about their appeal, both for herself and her children.

Posted on Tuesday 22nd May 2018

I have been making treasure baskets with my own children for many years now and it’s safe to say that putting them together has become a very fun and enjoyable hobby. I’m a mummy to three boys and I just love seeing the excitement each new basket brings to them. Equally, a new basket each day for a nursery setting or pre-school would be a great focal and talking point to start off a new topic or theme. Children could even create their own.

3 types of Treasure Basket:

  1. General Treasure Baskets

    Including everyday items or items relating to a theme such as healthy eating, rainbows, loose parts, remote controls, musical items, natural items, explore colours, Numbers, letters of the alphabet.

  2. Story Baskets

    Bring stories to life with a basket for a class book. Include all the items and props you will need to to recreate the story. Allow the children to investigate and find extra items to add. Children could then choose a different story and create their own basket for that story.

  3. Sensory Baskets

    Including sensory items such as texture, colour, smell/aroma, noisy/crinkly, bells, taste, light up, glow in the dark objects, metallic/shiny objects, natural items such as pine cones, leaves, conkers, flowers, stones, seeds – the possibilities are endless!

Treasure baskets are filled with everyday items you might not normally think about giving your children to play with; I’d say the more random, the better! We all know those times when you have put out lots of lovely toys for your children, yet they would rather play with a wooden spoon or a plastic container! So why not pop different sorts of (safe) items into a basket for them to have a play with?

I tend to do two types of baskets; ones which are themed and the others being story baskets. Themed baskets can be anything from a rainbow basket full of colourful items to an undersea collection full of fish and shells.

I particularly enjoy putting together story baskets. I love making them and watching how my children bring the stories to life. With story baskets, I simply pick a book and add a few props related to the story. We sit and look at the story and pick out the props as and when they fit in.

I follow the children’s lead and see where things go, listening and responding to any questions they may have about the props.

Treasure baskets are a great way for children to learn about and explore the wonderful world we live in. Little babies learn so much at such a young age simply by holding, touching, feeling or even by just looking at things. Then as they get older they start to use their imaginations and senses along with the baskets and they start to tell their own stories. They ask brilliant questions, I can’t tell you the number of fascinating conversations I have had with my three-year-old when using different baskets! You can easily add particular learning into the baskets, for example by adding colours, numbers, or days of the week. There is so much you can get out of just one basket!

Create a Light Up in the dark sensory basket – shut the blinds/curtain, turn the lights out and children will look at the items in amazement as they glow and light up in the dark. What colours can they see, what items are hiding in the basket? Include metallic reflective balls for the lights to shine onto.

Or, try a lifecycle basket with all the items related to a particular lifecycle.

With thanks to Becky, from @beckys_treasures_baskets over on Instagram, for writing this inspirational post. Head over to her Instagram feed for more of her baskets.