Monday, October 18, 2010

Treasure Box

One of my very favorite "toys" for babies is the sensory treasure box.

A treasure basket is filled with lots of interesting household objects and things from nature. We place ours on a low shelf so that our babies can easily reach the objects. Keep in mind when choosing objects that they will probably be mouthed by your infant. So they should be big enough and not sharp. You can also keep a basket of treasures in all of the main areas of your home. We did this with our youngest and he loved his treasure boxes.

From my experience (I'm no expert) the best time to introduce treasures is 3 to 6 months old. My children loved exploring their treasures around 5 and 6 months, when they could sit on their own and play. "When they are first exploring the basket it is best not to say a word--just select an object, carefully examine it, and put it back in the basket. your child may reach for it as soon as you put it down, or she may choose something altogether different. Allow her to explore things on her own. Children like us to be nearby, but they do not always want us to interfere." Tim Seldin

It is best to offer the treasure box when they are well rested due to how stimulating it is.

This is the treasure box I made for my oldest daughter. I used an old sturdy boot box. I loved that it was easy for her to open and close. I also bought different textures of fabric for her to feel and placed those on the inside top cover.

In the words of Tim Seldin: "A treasure basket should create a sense of wonder, surprise, and discovery. Gather between 50 to 100 objects, each of which has distinctly different characteristics: shape, color, texture, weight, and smell."

Some ideas to include: a large walnut shell, pine cone, brush, feather, silver bell, a large smooth stone, plug and chain, measure spoons, small whisk, sponge, shell, wooden spoon, wooden egg, pastry brush, block, glass egg cup, glass spice jar, string of beads, satin and velvet ribbons, ball of knitting wool, small purse, silk scarf, pompoms and spatulas.

"Infants and toddlers use all of their senses, whereas adults tend to rely on sight. Objects that have a distinct visual pattern or texture on their surface, a distinct aroma, that are cool to the touch, or which make a noise when moved are especially intriguing. To a young child, everything is a new and exciting discovery. Tim Seldin. How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way"
This is one of my very favorite thing about raising children. I get to rediscover the world through their eyes.

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