Thursday, May 10, 2012

Treasure Basket: Black & White

For about the past two months or so I've been making treasure baskets for Juliet (8 mos.). I read about this idea ages ago in the wonderful book How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin. I thought it might be fun to share a new treasure basket with you each week. :)

The idea behind a treasure basket is simple. It's basically a gathering of 5-10 objects of various characteristics (shape, color, texture, etc.), all contained in a basket (or box) for your child to explore with their senses.

This is the very first basket I made. Juliet LOVED it and explored it for a good 30 minutes!

Here's what's inside:
:: Fabric spider (from this funny doll)
:: Crochet rattle (from this lovely set)
:: Knitted rabbit
:: Breast pad - ok, I know this sounds weird, but Juliet loves these things. I'm sure it's because they remind her of our nursing sessions (btw, we're going on 9 months of breastfeeding over here - wohoo!).
:: Poached egg cup
:: Soft scrub brush
:: Large crochet flower
:: Bit of ribbon
:: Star shaped cookie cutter
:: Cow

This has got to be one of the most frugal ways to "entertain" your child. All in all I've made quite a few baskets already - about 25, I think. Some Juliet has used, others are on hand ready to go for the coming weeks/months. She plays with her basket every day and I change the "theme" every 4-5 days. I definitely plan to repeat the baskets and I keep all of the items together in one large bin.

One thing you'll notice in my baskets is that I reuse a lot of items (e.g. the cookie cutter in the "black and white basket" also works well in the "kitchen basket"). Also, I purchased very few new things for these baskets and that's only because it was unsanitary not to. 99% of the items were already in our home.

Oh and I make sure the items aren't harmful (i.e. sharp, broken, too small, toxic), but it's important to note that Juliet explores these baskets under my supervision. You just never know. I'm also careful not to interfere with her explorations. A treasure basket can be very stimulating and there's lots of learning going on in the process of discovery!

I have a "Treasure Basket" board on Pinterest, so be sure to visit for more ideas and links. If any of you are interested in sharing your treasure baskets, please feel free to add your link in the comments section. : )

~Thank you for your comments!~


PlainVanillaMom said...

What a gem :) I have an 8 month old too who loves this sort of thing. Thanks for the ideas! Following you now and am anxious to check out that pinterest board too! Thanks for the inspiration!

Montessori Mommas said...

Oh we were so exited to see this post! We run a little toddler Montessori class out of our home and we make these baskets. It's nice to see new ideas. Our little friends current favorite is a ball basket and a basket of "things that go". Thanks a bunch :)

Unknown said...

Lovely! I made one for my son when I was busy in the kitchen and he wanted me...(story of our lives, right?!). I quickly gathered all things silver & shiny and put them in a large mixing bowl. It was noisy, but he let me do my work for a good long while! I'll be taking a look at your pin board!

Pip said...

we are huge fans of Treasure baskets and i find they hold a childs attention far better than "baby" toys. Love the black and white version!

Sarah Sterling said...

I loved making these for my little man too. I tried to come up with themes like one color, things that big with the letter B (his name starts with B), kitchen, nature, etc. I called mine sensory baskets but I like the name treasure baskets better. To see my different baskets go to

Vanessa said...

LOL My now 16 month old has been making her own for months now. She goes through all the kitchen drawers and assembles little collections of shiny things too. :-) The dishwasher runs more often now, but they keep her entertained.

JGirl said...

How do you prevent them from throwing them around? I would like her to play with it and then keep it aside once she finished but I see everything scattered all over the floor. :(

Fiona said...

I love the black and white theme! I have a 13 month old, so I will have to put together a treasure basket for her to explore. We used to do some Montessori at home, but I would love to do some again. Thanks for the inspiration!

Ali Hall said...

What a wonderful idea. Thank you for putting together this series.


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