Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Treasure Basket Beginnings

Lately I have been reading more and more about Heuristic Play and correlating "treasure baskets."  If you do a quick Google search, you will find many articles, so I won't link then all.  This one seems to have a good overall summary.

Basically the idea is that babies and toddlers are natural discoverers.  They want to know what everything is, what it looks like, feels like, smells like, sounds like, and of course, tastes like.  Unfortunately, most baby toys are plastic, which while looks interesting with its many colors, smells, feel, and tastes the same as other plastics.  These treasure baskets provide a discovery outlet.

Treasure baskets are supposed to be round baskets filled with all sorts of objects to discover.  Objects should be safe and clean.  Ideally they are made of wood, fabric, metal, or natural materials to provide a variety of textures, sounds, and tastes.  The child is allowed to sort through the basket as they wish, without interruption.  That is, no showing them what each object does and expecting them to use it that way.  This is their own exploration.

I really think this is something Xander would enjoy!  I try to give him new objects to play with often and he can entertain himself for long periods of time this way.  The other day he played with a whisk for at least an hour over the course of the day.

Entertaining himself with some kitchen items while I made dinner.

Now that I have an idea of how to present this type of play in an organized fashion, I need to get to work!  Finding small, safe, varied items is harder than it sounds!

This is what we have so far.  The basket, of course, a knit cloth, a velvety ring box, and an old bottle nipple.  Hopefully by the next time I write about our treasure basket it is overflowing!  50-60 items is the goal so that we can keep it rotating!  I will be searching the thrift stores and garage sales for unique little items.  My dad is going to cut down a dowel and maybe a branch (which I would sand).  I may also make a trip to a craft store to get various pieces of cloth or even make him some scented satchets.

If anyone locally comes across an item they are going to throw out but may have a home in Xander's treasure basket, please let us know!

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