Are you looking for an easy way to entertain your baby at home? Our winter treasure basket is just what you need. It’s cheap to make (once you have the right basket). And this homemade sensory play activity will last your baby months!
But before we share this baby activity idea, you may be wondering – what is a winter treasure basket?
What Is a Winter Treasure Basket?
A winter treasure basket is a basket filled with objects, rather than toys. Most of the objects are natural and related to winter. They’re ideal for babies over 7 months old. Or for babies that can sit well on their own. Little one’s find them so interesting. And they encourage them to explore on their own.
What Are the Benefits of a Winter Treasure Basket For Babies?
Our winter treasure basket idea will help your baby’s brain development. Your curious little one will learn more about the world around them. Whilst using most of their senses to investigate the items (touching, listening, smelling).
Lots of the resources are of different sizes too. Which makes them perfect for developing your baby’s fine motor skills. For example, they’ll practise using their whole hand to hold bigger items. And their pincer grip (thumb and forefinger) to pick up small things.
What Can You Put In a Winter Treasure Basket For Babies?
The contents of our winter treasure basket includes:
- Cotton pads
- Blue pom poms
- Ice cubes (chilled in the fridge to prevent ice burns)
- Pine needles (you could add these to a bag just for smelling if you wish)
- A wooden penguin teether
To make your own basket, first find a round, sturdy basket with a flat bottom.
Then collect all the natural materials you want to add. You know your child best. If they love putting things in their mouths, maybe avoid using some of the resources on the list.
Wash them or wipe them over with baby-friendly antibacterial spray where possible.
Next, place the cotton pads at the bottom of the basket to look like snow.
Finally, add in the rest of the items. Then let your infant play!
Other Interesting Real World Items You Can Use In Your Winter Themed Treasure Basket
Try changing the contents a little. And add in other natural, real-world objects that remind you of winter. Just make sure they’re not choking hazards and that they don’t have sharp edges.
Your baby will love exploring things like a hat, gloves and bare twigs. Shredded paper and haberdashery wadding will also work well for snow.
How to Encourage Play Using the Themed Treasure Basket
Our winter treasure basket is great for heuristic play. Your baby will love exploring and discovering things for themselves. But they’ll feel much more secure if they know you’re by their side. So make sure you sit next to them.
Try not to distract them by giving them different things to feel or smell. This is often easier said than done! But, the whole purpose of a treasure basket is to let them discover independently. You should respond to your baby when they try to communicate with you though. For example, take an object if they hand it to you.
A homemade treasure basket is the perfect sensory play idea for your baby that will help their brain development. Set it up once and watch your baby enjoy discovering the different items for months!
Once you have a basket, you can create treasure baskets based on different themes. Like a wooden sensory basket or an exciting Christmas basket!
Remember to always supervise your baby when they’re playing with natural objects. And make sure you put it out of the way when they’ve finished playing with it.
Want to Learn More About Treasure Baskets?
Check out our previous blog post – How to Start Treasure Basket Play With Your Baby. It includes a free printable list of over 70 items you can add!