From birth, baby is ready to learn about the world around. In this case treasure hunting!

Baby’s instinct from birth is to find out as much as they can in order to survive. Treasure hunting! 

Why sensory learning is so important to baby.

Providing opportunities for them to develop their senses is key. Not just for survival (Which is the main priority in the beginning) but also for supporting and building a foundation to future learning. The term used in early years education is-scafolding. 

A simple sensory sheet can provide hours of interaction, focus, concentration, stimulation and learning. 

Treasure Hunting, Ideas for Early Learning, baby

Sensory stimulation 


When baby receives a gift, they are more interested in the wrapping paper than the contents. The wrapping paper, like the sensory sheet, is like finding treasure to baby.

  • It sounds great when it moves
  • Even better when they make it happen, as they move around it
  • It looks great when the light reflects on it
  • It feels different to touch
  • It smells of the people who are closest to baby. 

The treasure hunt begins!

Stimulating the senses does not require expensive, rightly coloured toys. 

Taking your little one on a treasure hunt, just takes a bit of thought. 

  • Sound 
  • Touch
  • Sight
  • Smell
  • Taste

This is how we learn. Through treasure hunting. 

Children and adults remember experience when they are linked to our senses. For example;

  • The smell of grandmas washing powder
  • Parents singing and reading stories
  • Looking at the sea
  • Feeling the sand, breeze, sea
  • Tasting favourite foods

What would your childhood treasure hunt look like?

Think about an experience from you childhood and link it to:

  • Taste
  • sight
  • sound
  • touch
  • smell

Treasure Hunting|On a trip to the Farm

When I worked in the nursery, we visited the farm every year. For some children it was a first experience.

The farm visit was memorable and educational. Through sensory stimulation and learning 

Preparation and planning took weeks leading up to the visit.

  • We sang songs (Old McDonald) using actions, picture, animal sounds
  • Small world play with animals, farm etc
  • Counting (Numeracy)
  • Matching, sorting, colours  (Maths)
  • Farm stories (Literacy) 
  • Made models (Imagination, coordination, motor skills)
  • Painted (Imagination, coordination, motor skills)
  • Made cakes, butter using eggs and milk 

Duck eggs in an incubator from the local farm added to the sensory experience, as we looked after them, and watched as they hatched. I don’t know who was more excited, me or the children!

Imagine the excitement! When we eventually went to the farm, the children remembered the names of the animals, how many legs, colour, feel. Oh and smell!

They talked about the farm for weeks after the visit. The learning gained through using their different senses was amazing and hopefully it has stayed with then.

The best learning takes place using multi sensory opportunities and following the children’s lead. Children enjoy real life experiences and items.

Children, especially babies, enjoy the sound, feel, sight of the wrapping paper and sensory sheets. 

They enjoy making marks in their yogurt on their high chair, let them. Its easy cleaned afterwards.

What better way is there to gain listening skills. If they enjoy making sounds with

  • pans
  • spoons
  • chain
  • keys

A great effective way to encourage listening skills. Listening skills are essential for all learning. 

Treasure Hunting : Senses

It is so easy to add items to a box or basket and let them explore using their senses. As they develop and get older, their interests will change. Its great to add items that they choose, such as, animals, dinosaurs, cars, trains, books, puzzles.

The good thing about a Treasure Basket is how it can grow and develop with your child. A wooden train feels different to a metal train or a soft train, or a book about trains, a train track. 

Going to see real trains can the experience more memorable and exciting. Early sensory experiences build a foundation for future learning.  Adding to and reinforcing, makes the learning experience stronger.

Jack  at the age of 3 year enjoyed all things train related. 

As you can see he decided to take his trike
onto the steam train.

If you haven’t thought about a Treasure Box or Basket, then start now. Check out for more ideas.  

Happy Treasure hunting

Carol x

Contact Me

t: 07531 564159


North Shields, Tyne and Wear. NE30 2BX

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