Monday, July 16, 2012


I recently put together a treasure basket for Maya.  Treasure baskets are a way for babies and toddlers to enjoy heuristic play--exploring every day objects that are made up of different textures, shapes and sizes.  Basically stuff from around the house that will be more interesting than plastic toys.  They have a few of these baskets at the childrens' center we go to and Maya is always fascinated by things like sponges, wire egg cups and wooden spoons so I decided it was time to make one for her to play with at home.  It took me about 5 mintues to grab a bunch of different things and clean them before putting them into a spare basket that is low enough for Maya to reach into.  I now am always noticing things that she would be interested in, things I didn't really consider beforehand. 

The first thing she usually does is to empty the basket completely so that all the objects are spread around her, then she examines (and of course chews on) each one. 

 She will spend so much time playing with the items in her treasure basket.  This morning she spent 30 minutes exploring happily while I sat nearby watching.  She does not spend that much time playing with any of her other toys, so it's incredible to me that these every day bits and bobs really capture her attention.  She is absolutely fascinated by this stuff!

 Today she was fixated on the silicone muffin cup.  She played with it for about 10 minutes, just turning it around in her hands, dropping it and picking it up and making sure it was sufficiently covered in slobber!

 Ideally the basket should be filled with lots of items to stimulate baby's senses, and not many plastic things.  I have included a few plastic items that are a bit different from her other toys, and of course a spoon because she is always eager to hold her spoon when we are feeding her. It amazes me that she can already do that, and that she always puts it in her mouth the right way! 

In Maya's Treasure Basket:

A couple of plastic measuring cups
Lavender sachet
Silicone muffin cup
Wooden rings
Bath sponge
Snack cups
Woven napkin ring
Champagne cork
Tupperware lid
Baby spoon

Other cool things to add would be pine cones or big sea shells, some shiny or sparkly fabric, velvet, leather, silk or fur, something metal like a tea strainer, bell or small whisk.  Lots of ideas!  I will probably encourage her to play with the items in her treasure basket only once a day, I don't want her to get bored of them, and I will continue to add and take away items as she gets older (I'm not sure how the cork would survive once she has teeth!).  I guess this will keep her occupied until she is able to empty the cabinets in the kitchen and play with the pots and pans!


  1. Maya's so smart! And you're so smart for coming up with such cheap entertainment :)

  2. Remember our conversation today? You are a great mom!!