Happy Mother's Day to all you deserving mamas out there! My husband is dutifully playing with Em, who is refusing to nap, so that I can get some uninterrupted blogging and photo editing time in before we head to the in-laws' for dinner. We have had a wonderful day so far. Before the new week begins, I wanted to be sure to give you a crafty idea that has been a blessing for me this week. So here is a Mother's Day gift from me to you!
Here's what you need:
1. a basket, or some kind of large container, with or without a lid depending on baby's age. A lid would be a nice challenge as baby gets older and maybe once the novelty of the treasure basket has worn off. I really do think an interesting, attractive container would be better than a plain-old tupperware bin that looks like every other storage unit in your house. This is a "treasure basket." Let's treat it as such.
Here is the verbatim definition of what should go in the basket, as quoted by MPMK:
According to Anna, an early education and art specialist from The Imagination Tree, treasure baskets benefit babies age 6-18 months by:
• encouraging them to use their senses to discover, explore, investigate and examine new materials/ shapes/ colours/ tastes/ textures/ sounds/ weights/ quantities
• developing their thinking skills
• promoting open-ended and independent play
You can go to The Imagination Tree and scope out Anna's treasure box that she made for her baby, but all you need to do is compile some "treasures" that are intriguing to baby's senses, especially touch and sound, and that allow baby to learn and explore his or her world. There is no "purpose," per se. It's all about discovery (and by the way and not surprisingly, this is a Montessori technique) and you may be surprised which items your baby gravitates toward more than others. I am sure that your 12-month-old would choose different treasures than mine. I'm sure that in 3 months, they would both be attracted to completely new things. As their brains develop, their interests may change. Or maybe Em will always go for the jewelry first; we'll see!
So here's what's in Em's treasure basket:
1. a lei from Nana's 60th surprise party2. Manhattan Toy Beads Wood Rattle
3. tissue paper
4. small Oball
5. 2 wooden blocks
6. some Megablocks
7. 2 plastic circles from Jax's clock
8. 2 heart-shaped bracelets
9. teething keys
10. toy tambourine
12. a crinkly, squeeky baby toy
13. plastic measuring spoons
14. 2 Megablocks little guys
15. terrycloth washcloth
17. tiny board book
18. blabla mini cat rattle
19. clutch purse with a clasp
20. take n toss cup with lid, with three big acorns in it
21. a rock
22. beaded necklace
23. zebra rattle
24. toy cereal box with rattly cereal inside
25. pink polkadot ribbon
26. 2 crayola jumbles
27. a wooden piece with holes from Jax's Melissa & Doug toolbox
28. egg shaker
29. Christmas bell
30. a pinwheel from Em's birthday party
31. small tupperware with snappy lid
32. a sunhat from Anne Taylor Loft that looks ridiculous on me
33. chenille burp cloth
34. Playskool Wheel Pal
35. Educo wooden car
36. pink stuffed birdie that tweets
37. paint brush
38. broken Blackberry
You may be surprised to learn that they recommend 50-100 items in a treasure basket for Em's age group, but I think 38 is sufficient for now. I can trade things out easier if I only have so many!
So, the question remains, how does she like it?
I hope that you will take the ten minutes necessary to create this sensory delight for your 6-18 month old. I promise you it will entertain and educate them, and allow for you to get a few extra minutes to yourself! If you make one, be sure to link back to me, so that I can find out what treasures work for you and steal them when I need to give Em's basket an update!
And if you want to know where I've linked this craft, check out my Links & Things tab above!