Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How to make a discovery basket

A discovery basket is a basket, box or tub filled with carefully selected items that your child can play with and explore. I've also heard them called treasure baskets. Items can be tactile, interesting or thematic. I usually choose a theme based on Little Bean's current interests and go from there. They are a great way to stimulate the senses, introduce new concepts and to practice skills.

I have a big box filled with loads of interesting items for discovery baskets. It's actually getting a little crazy. I have so many ideas that I'm going to have to get a bigger box soon. Maybe even a room.

Recently we've had discovery baskets for the following themes:
Things that roll or can be pushed along
Sound sensory bottles - go here for instructions on how to make them

Round - metal sieve, metal baby food jar lid, sauce dipping bowls,
plastic lid with embossed stars, flexible clear plastic lid,
plastic jar lid with grooved edges.
Sound sensory bottles containing plastic straws, rice, chickpeas,
mung beans & lentils, kidney beans and bells.
Roll or push - sensory ball, plastic balls with bells inside,
velvet ball, small wooden balls, plastic rattle, plastic cylinders
with bells inside, plastic truck and lots of wooden cars.
Some other themes I'd like to try in the near future are:
Shiny and smooth
Spin or turn
Kitchen tools
Opening and closing
Rough or smooth

Here are some of the items I have put aside for future use:

Beautiful sea shells
Wooden chopsticks and
bamboo placemat
Metal sieve, silicon cupcake pans, plastic juicer, metal beaters,
metal ladle, textured plastic rice spoon, plastic curry puff press.
Sometime you can make the basket itself an interesting
feature. I like using plastic sieves and baskets
with different textures.
Texture - vinyl coin purse, shower loofah, woven handbag,
scrubbing brush.
A variety of scarves and shawls

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