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The treasure basket is a collection of everyday objects chosen to stimulate the different senses. It is one way of giving babies a wide range of experiences that help the brain to make connections and develop – and helps keep them happy!

What do I do?

A treasure basket should have a flat bottom, should be strong enough for the baby to lean on without tipping up, and be made of natural material

  • Fill the basket to the brim with objects, so that your baby has plenty to choose from
  • Babies want to put everything into their mouths. Make sure that everything you choose for the basket is safe
  • Sit nearby and watch, but there is no need to talk or intervene unless your baby clearly needs attention
  • Make sure that your baby is seated comfortably and safely and provide cushions for support if necessary
  • Check the contents of the basket regularly, cleaning objects and discarding any damaged items.

Suggested items for a treasure basket

Everyday items from around the house are best. The purpose is to offer interest through

  • Touch: texture, shape, weight
  • Smell: variety of scents
  • Taste: more limited scope, but possible
  • Sound: ringing, tinkling, banging, scrunching
  • Sight: colour, form, length, shininess

A basket could contain

  • Natural objects – fir cones, big shells, large walnuts, pumice stone, fruit; apple, lemon
  • Objects made from natural material – woollen ball, little baskets, brushes
  • Wood – rattles, spoons, egg cups, bowls, pegs, napkin rings
  • Metal – spoons, tin lids, tea strainer, garlic squeezer, bunch of keys
  • Odds and ends – little notebooks, small purses, small cardboard boxes, inside of kitchen rolls, tinfoil