West Finchley Nursery Treasure Basket Play Blog

Treasure Basket Play with Your Little One

Your baby is surrounded by a world full of objects and textures just waiting to be discovered. Here at Finchley Preschool, we expose your children to new materials and encourage them to explore with their hands and their mouth.

Once your baby is able to sit up and hold things in their hands, it is important to give them the right objects to develop their sensory skills.  A treasure basket is a great way to allow your baby to explore, experiment, and make their own choices, at their own pace.

What is treasure basket play?

A treasure basket is a low basket or sturdy box filled with lots of of interesting and tactile household objects items. You encourage your child to play and explore the items. You should include natural items such as paint brushes, pine cones, feathers, small pebbles and avocado stones.

And, better still, they’re relatively simple and inexpensive to create and provide hours of fun and sensory stimulation!

Here at The Finchley Preschool, we ensure that our children have access to regular treasure basket play providing sensory exploration and  helping them to learn and develop. But why not try creating your own treasure basket at home?

How to create your own Treasure Basket

Creating a treasure basket for your little one can be just as fun as playing with them.

Firstly, you will need to find a basket to keep all of your objects in. It should have a flat bottom and should be strong enough to stay upright, even when your baby leans on it.  At Finchley Preschool, we always advise opting for a basket that is made from natural materials rather than plastic. This way, the basket itself adds to the sensory experience.

Once you have your basket, it’s time to fill it to the top with a variety of natural and everyday items. Make sure that you choose natural objects that will engage all of your baby’s senses, and avoid shop bought toys.

To keep your baby engaged and constantly learning, you should change the objects in your treasure basket regularly.  Always introduce new objects and textures to widen your little one’s experiences.

Whilst your child is playing, make sure you stay attentive and observe your baby at play. Be there whilst your child is learning and provide plenty of social contact, but without intervening in their play or guiding their experience.

Why you should encourage treasure basket play

Treasure Basket play offers a whole host of opportunities for your child to explore the world around them, while engaging all five of their senses.

Your baby will be exposed to a rich sensory experience through sucking, holding, touching , moving the objects about in different ways, and putting items in their mouths, which will  help them to learn about the objects – their weight, size, shape, texture, sound and smell.

Once you set your little one up in front of their treasure box, it can hold their attention for up to an hour or more as they explore the treats and treasures inside. It also prompts independent decision-making as they can choose the items out of the box themselves and decide when to divert their attentions to another item.


We want to know what is in your Treasure Basket. Get in touch, we’d love to hear your ideas!

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