Friday, March 11, 2016

Montessori Treasure Baskets

A Montessori treasure basket is one way to play with babies. They are baskets that allow babies to safely explore the world around them. Treasure baskets don't have to be complicated to provide valuable exploration for babies. Treasure bins are typically recommended for babies that are able to sit up on their own and who are eager to explore their environment.


The idea is for babies to discover these objects on their own without intervention or instruction from an adult. If you want to use a treasure basket at home, I recommend storing it somewhere where your baby can access it on their own. When they discover the basket, sit back! Let the baby manipulate the objects however they see fit, even if its isn't a way that the way the object is intended to be used. 

After awhile, I think it is fine to start adding simple vocabulary to the objects. "Spoon," "ball," "bowl." But, remember your child should take the lead at all times. Your role is to keep them safe, not to instruct! 

Here are a few tips for making a great treasure basket -- 

  1. Keep it simple. It's for a baby so a few objects will be fine.
  2. Make it safe. Nothing too small, loose, or sharp.
  3. Stick to natural materials. Fabrics, wood, metal are perfect starting places.
  4. Skip anything with a battery. You're looking to provide the baby an experience, not entertainment.
  5. Keep it Practical. These should be real life tools and things found in your environment, no toys necessary! 

So, what are some ways you can prepare a treasure basket? Well, the options are really unlimited. While I don't have a baby at home right now, I was able to quickly pull together a few ideas for you to try at home. So, those of you with babies, should have no problems!

Wooden: blocks, rattle, small crate, egg, little wooden shapes, wicker spiral ball, ridged instrument stick


Nature: wooden bowl, pine cones {please use bigger ones, but these were all I had}, wicker spiral ball, robin's egg {plastic}, large shell, artificial flowers {real flowers would be even better!}.


Metal: whisks, toothpick jar lids, measuring cup, pouring container, various sized spoons, melon baller, ice cream scoop.


Colors {could be done in any color}: various sponges, opening/closing tomato container, foam letters, jar lid. One note about this -- this is an older picture, I would skip the letters now that I have learned more about Montessori for infants and toddlers. 


Some other ideas could be a basket with different types of brushes, just kitchen tools, scraps of differently textured fabrics or ribbons, similar shapes, mirrors, balls or musical instruments! 

I would love to hear from you! Have you ever tried a treasure basket?

If you liked this post, don't miss: Color Themed Treasure Baskets for ToddlersMontessori Work Shelves at 8 Months

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