Monday, November 21, 2011

New and Improved: Treasure Basket

        Now that we have settled, I am able to improve upon the treasure basket that we are providing for Q-ball's exploration/play time.  This is an idea that I read about on several Montessori blogs and read about in How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin.
       The goal is to include "household objects and things from nature."  This way baby can explore the items with multiple senses.  Montessori herself often insisted on natural materials and avoided synthetic materials such as plastic.  Natural materials, according to followers of the Montessori method, are believed to be more beautiful, durable, and more stimulating to a child's senses.  
In The Joyful Child, Micheal Olaf has this to say about the material of toys-

It is very dangerous that wood is progressively disappearing from our lives. Wood is a material that is familiar and poetic; it gives a child a continuity of contact with a tree, a table, a floor. Wood does not cut, does not spoil, does not break easily, can last for a long time and live with the child. It can modify little by little the relationship between the objects which are timeless. Now toys are chemical and do not give pleasure. These toys break very soon and they do not have any future for the child. 

Below are what we are currently rotating in and out of Q-ball's treasure basket. In upcoming posts, I will discuss how and why we let her explore this treasure basket and other parts of the house with minimal interference.  

These items were picked up at the local market and allow us to make use of the what nature provides throughout the changing seasons.

Wooden bowls and cookie cutter from Goodwill.  Teaholder from personal collection (I've always wanted to use this phrase from art galleries...)

Leather wallet, satiny place mat, and silk cloth provide different touch sensations.

Mason jars that I have filled with rice, rosemary, and popcorn.  These allow Q-ball to explore with her sense of sound. She loves these! I also poked holes in the top of the rosemary jar to allow her to smell.  But, it's frankly not very strong- I'm looking for an item with a stronger smell.

Wooden utensils from Goodwill.

Have you created a treasure basket for your baby?  What have you included?  Any ideas for an item with a stronger smell to place in the Mason jar?

Olaf, M. (2009) The first year. Retrieved from 
Seldin, T. (2006). How to raise an amazing child the Montessori way. DK Publishing:NY

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful collection of items! I love treasure baskets SO much. I had themed baskets throughout the house when Annabelle was small - one in the kitchen with kitchen-related items. One in the bathroom with related things, like a wooden brush with natural bristles, large buttons, and so on. It was neat to offer things that had a logical connection to what Annabelle saw me doing in each room.

    Maybe dried lavender would be a nice thing to smell?


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