Last week I was catching up on my blog reading and I caught a great question and answer session on Offbeat Mama about low-key things to do with an infant who can’t leave the house. One of the reader’s answers about creating a treasure basket was amazing!
Basically the basket allows children to explore heuristic play (exploring their world via play with objects). For my kids this would be shoving said objects in their mouths, crushing them or smashing them. All the same, it’s comforting to know that the sword swallowing and Incredible Hulk routines are a normal part of development.
Take a minute and think about the toys that we provide for our infants, they are mostly plastic and feel/taste the same. Boring! The Treasure basket allows you to create a base basket full of 20-30 multi-textured, multifaceted, objects for your baby to explore daily for about half an hour to an hour. Eventually the basket can contain up to 60-80 objects as you slowly build more items to keep the baby interested.
Obviously you’ll need to carefully supervise to avoid choking or in my case using the object to bludgeon a sibling. As alway with infants: EVERYTHING SHOULD BE DONE UNDER ADULT SUPERVISION, and the basket should be checked regularly for wear and tear and choking hazards.
Here’s what I put in Molly & Jack’s Treasure Basket so far:
- 3 wooden spoons of various sizes
- leather cuff bracelet
- rubber dish gloves
- square of astroturf
- purple rubber textured dog bone
- fake fur miniature notebook
- cloth pencil case
- metal measuring spoons
- microfibre mop top
- miniature dust pan and broom
- dish scrubbing brush
- felt shoe insole
- foam duck shaped cut outs
- cork rounded hot pot stand
- metal whisk
- 5 inch cloth fastener with velcro tie
- blue hard cardboard jewelry box
- pastry brush
- wooden ladybug shaped circular massager
What I’m still looking for:
- large pine cone (which I will wash with warm water and soap as per my germaphobic husband’s instructions)
- unused feather duster
- sponges (I bought these and then realized that they were pre-treated for my car’s benefit/ making them poisonous for Molly & Jack and unusable)
- chamois (I also bought one of these, unaware until I got home that it had been pre-treated with wax, also unusable)
- chalk brush
- wooden bristled hair brush
- large square of silk material
Here’s what I’m not putting in and why:
- Seashells (Seashells smash, shards everywhere)
- Rocks (I couldn’t figure what would be the appropriate sized rock — I needed something small enough that it couldn’t be a weapon and large enough that it couldn’t be swallowed or choked on).
For more information on creating a treasure basket here’s the link that was provided that I used as a starting point/guideline. My beginner basket cost me about $25 thanks to the dollar store and a little creativity around the house.