Treasure Basket

Heuristic play 'consists of offering a group of children, for a defined period of time in a controlled environment, a large number of different kinds of objects and receptacles with which they play freely without adult intervention’.   Elinor Goldschmied and Sonia Jackson coined the term heuristic play in their book People Under Three.
Treasure baskets are tools to invoke heuristic play.  A treasure basket is composed of natural found objects.  The child then explores the objects using the senses, without any adult help.  Experts in heuristic play suggest starting when a child is able to sit up on his/her own.  Luke has just started doing this, so I thought I would put together a treasure basket for him.  He is not too interested, yet, so I have just been putting it in front of him about once or twice a day.
Lots of moms out there make 'themed' treasure baskets, including 'circular baskets', 'metal baskets', 'beach baskets', 'nature baskets'.  My first treasure basket includes items I had laying around the house.  

The items included in my basket:
  • wooden spoon
  • shell
  • cork
  • handmade sensory bottle with sprinkles
  • cookie cutters
  • piece of fleece
  • wooden bangle
  • fabric bunny
Even though heuristic play is supposed to be done without adult intervention, I still think it's vital for adult supervision, especially when children are very young.  Here are some of pictures of Luke with his little treasure basket.

luke loves this bottle, it is definitely his favorite 'toy of the moment' right now

as you can see, luke explores with his mouth all. the. time.

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