What are Treasure Baskets and why are they beneficial for baby/child learning and development?
Treasure Baskets have been used for many years by childcare professionals to support babies/children’s all round learning and development. Treasure Baskets support holistic learning, development and curiosity through touch, taste, smell, sound and visual stimulation. It’s a brilliant idea that works to stimulate and inspire exploration and discovery through multi-sensory opportunities. This enables children to learn, develop and build confidence through the decisions they make.
When baby shows an interest in something in particular, for example sound, then it’s simple to add more items that support this interest. A length of metal chain sounds great rattled on a metal bowl. A wooden spoon to bang on a metal pan or a treasure basket. This is the brilliant thing about Treasure Baskets, they support your baby/child to be in control of their own learning and make decisions about their play.
The Montessori teaching method is based on learning through multi-sensory experience, this theory has proven that children benefit from learning in this way. Originally developed in Italy the Montessori (1897) theory is now practiced in schools across the UK. The UK Government and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum has acknowledged the Montessori’s approach. In their view this is at the centre of how children learn. Sensory Treasures www.sensorytreasure.co.uk provide a selection of baskets and bags containing a variety of contents based on the same theory.
Physically, baby is developing fine motor skills, as they manipulate the items they take from the basket. Equally, they develop gross motor skills, and balance, as they stretch, reach, lean into the basket and lift items out.
Intellectually, baby is making important choices as they discover what is in the basket and what they can do with it, how it looks, sounds, tastes, smells. Using all the senses in this way supports learning, forms stronger connections in the brain and builds a foundation to future learning. They experience cause and effect, by finding out what happens next and as a result of their actions. They develop listening skills, by listening the to different sounds that they make using different items, and they develop a preference for the sounds that they recognise and enjoy the most. They learn about capacity, when they discover what fits where. The opportunities are endless, as there is always something new to discover.
“The girls are still enjoying their Treasure Basket, and discover new things every time”.
Rachael, mum of 3 year old and 10 month old.
Treasure Baskets provide a holistic experience by offer a variety of items to stimulate all the senses. Items can include: wood, metal, wool, material, pastry brushes, nail brushes, dish brushes, wooden rolling pin, chain, keys, bowls, shakers, silver sheet, pine cones, dolly pegs, scarves, corks, shells, pebbles, sponges, fruit, vegetables, bells, wooden spoons, measuring cups, funnels, sieves, feathers, whisk, spatula, bath mop etc.
Treasure Baskets are a valuable resource for learning and development. The opportunities are vast. Treasure Baskets and contents must be supervised at all times and contents checked regularly, for safety reasons.
More to come