LMF saw me pick up a canning jar rim and was immediately intrigued--shiny, cool to the touch, and usually hidden away in a drawer--what could be better to explore?
I then placed it in a circular IKEA basket.
I then began to gather a variety of everyday household objects and place them into the basket--I included everything from a sour cream container lid, to bracelets, to the bottom plastic ring of a coffee can.
A little while later I offered LMF the basket. She began exploring the basket lid, trying to figure out how to open it. Turning it in its side, LMF noticed it made noises. Curious about this, she studied the basket with a furrowed brow. I then decided to shake the basket to spark her curiosity even more.
I then left for work and my husband continued to encourage LMF’s interest in the basket throughout the day. When I came home after LMF explored the basket for a bit, I decided to remove the lid just a bit (much to my husband’s dismay!) as it was on quite tight. LMF immediately reached for the rim and grabbed the items inside.
These IKEA baskets are nesting --which means I love them for so many reasons--they save space, but they can serve as a great toy to explore, too! The baskets do fray after some use but they also are fairly inexpensive in the wicker basket realm.
The items we included in the basket varied greatly-- she loved the shininess of an old DVD, but also the firmness of a wooden bracelet. I included a wide metal bangle which while initially cool to the touch, the bracelet would warm up a she held it.
The items we included in the basket greatly-- she loved the shininess of an old DVD, but also the firmness of a wooden bracelet. I included a wide metal bangle which while cool to the touch would warm up a she held it.
Here are some of the items we ended up including:
Bottom rim of coffee canister
Wide metal bracelet
Canning jar rim
Mother of pearl bangle
Sour cream container lid
Jelly jar lid
Moisturizing cream cover
Peanut Butter jar lid
DVDs (not pictured)
Coconut milk yogurt lid (not pictured)
I’m gathering materials for our next basket. She has a silver soon she loves to play with and is attracted to all things that sparkle and shine (my husband calls her our little raccoon). So I am collecting all metal items for LMF to explore.
This activity has its roots in Montessori and Reggio-Emilia education, the use of everyday objects, and the belief that young children learn through exploration and play. There is a lot of inspiration available on blogs and Pinterest.
Anna from Imagination Tree has some amazing ideas for discovery baskets, including circle discovery baskets. Check out Anna ’s other interesting posts on how to cull interesting materials and create engaging spaces for learning and play.
Deb at Living Montessori Now has a wonderful list of ideas to share.
Jayne at The Naptown Organizer had Nicole from the Kavanaugh Report share a guest post on treasure baskets.
Update 5.08.2016 - If there is one DIY or any toy for that matter that I would say we CANNOT live without--it's LMF's circle basket. She spends hours exploring her favorite items and we continue to circulate her circular options. She seeks this play out all the time. In fact one day my husband shared that they were playing in the living room and LMF crawled across the room, up the steps, through the foyer and into the kitchen just to play with her circle basket. She loves it that much.
Safety Reminders: Adult supervision is highly recommended for all of the activities, ideas, and materials featured on this blog. As parents, guardians, and caregivers, you know your children best and your own comfort level with the different suggested activities. Littleredbarn is not responsible for any injury or damage from reproducing the activities, materials, or ideas from this blog.