Treasure baskets contain collections of everyday objects that help babies start exploring and understanding the world around them. We’ve seen babies engrossed in treasures baskets for up to an hour (with their parents watching in joyous disbelief!)
Adults should be attentive during treasure basket play but they shouldn’t get actively involved (unless they have to intervene for safety reasons, of course). The baby should be free to explore the basket in their own time and in their own way.
If you’re not sure about the safety of an item for your treasure basket, don’t include it. Don’t forget to clean, check and replace the items regularly.
We’ve shared some ideas for themed treasure baskets below. You can find most items at home or in your local hardware or household shop.
For the basket itself, a natural woven basket is ideal, but a simple cardboard box works too. Make sure the baby can see the treasure and easily reach inside.
The Touch Basket
Pine cones, shells, apples, lemons, big feathers, pumice stone, loofah, natural sponge, driftwood, corks, a short length of rope, a nail brush, a hairbrush, leather, a shaving brush, a velvet powder puff, a small wooden bowl, cardboard tubes, wooden spoons, coasters, flooring samples, pieces of bark, wooden and metal bangles…
The Metal Basket
Spoons, keys in bunches, a plug with a chain, a tea strainer, tin lids, small baking tins, a whistle on a chain, curtain rings, a bike bell, tins with lids, a lemon press, a garlic press, a door knob, a metal jug, a small sieve, a potato masher, a bunch of bells, a metal toy car, a dog chain, a large metal bolt (new)…
The Rolling Basket
Tennis ball, pompom wool ball, golf ball, quoits, napkin rings, marble or wooden eggs, coasters, large metal washers, large buttons, a ball with a bell inside, fruits, round tins and boxes, pencils and pens, cardboard rolls and tubes, balls, cookie cutters, round corks, a roll of tape, wooden wheels…