This morning I led a lovely workshop session with some families all about treasure baskets.
We all sat around a big basket full of all sorts of treasures - little baskets, pine cone, driftwood, willow balls, wooden comb, sellotape rolls, little teddy, ribbon, magnifying glass, old tin, wooden bowl, wooden napkin ring, wooden bracelet, piece of knitting, metal spoons, little drawstring bag, cork and lots more.
The children soon started investigating the treasures and we were able to see different ages of children exploring the feel, sound, taste, smell and look of the objects. Thanks so much to the person who wrote on their evaluation that this part of the session should have been allowed to go on a bit longer! We learnt an awful lot about the benefits of treasure basket play just by watching the children!
What is it? What does it feel like? What can I do with it? What an amazing picture of concentration and involvement - she's working out how the driftwood and the length of bamboo fit together, finding out about size and shape, and developing her hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. And little one has found one of my treasure jars - a tiny jam jar made of really solid glass filled with beads and sequins with the lid super-glued on tight!
We looked at lots of pictures of inspiring ideas for treasure baskets with different themes, like circles, cubes, purple, black & white, shiny, sounds, metal, wood. I promised to include here a brilliant document that I found online with hundreds of ideas for treasures to find so here it is (click on it to view):
Here's a link to my treasure baskets board on Pinterest - loads of inspiring images to help you on your way with ideas for treasure basket play (click below to view):
At the end of the workshop we read the story "Arnold" by Mick Inkpen - Arnold comes round to play with Kipper and is not interested in any of his toys - he just wants to play with the cardboard box that they came in!
Remember to look at all sorts of "junk" with a different pair of eyes - and search the charity shops for loads of cheap treasures!