Treasure baskets

Treasure baskets are a fun sensory experience, giving children the opportunity to explore nature’s variety of textures.

What is a treasure basket?

A treasure basket is a shallow, sturdy basket with a collection of everyday items, usually taken from nature. The idea is that children explore the basket and discover a variety of treasures. 

It brings exploration within reach of your child and gives them the opportunity to handle a range of items that they may not be able to experience unless they are brought to them. 

Benefits of a treasure basket

Treasure baskets allow children with complex disabilities to have a fun, varied tactile experience. 

Feeling all the objects in a treasure basket can help with:

  • Learning about different textures, smells and flavours.
  • Motor control. 
  • Concentration.
  • Making choices.
  • Memory.

Treasure basket ideas

Trying to work out what to put in a treasure basket?

Items in the treasure basket should vary in weight, size, texture, colour, taste, sound and temperature – for instance: 

  • Natural objects: pebble, lemon, loofah, feathers, shells. 
  • Metal objects: spoons, keys, bells, small whisk. 
  • Brushes: paintbrush, nail brush, pastry brush, toothbrush. 
  • Textiles: velvet scrunchies, silk, wool. 

A treasure basket can be adapted to suit each child’s needs. For children who are not able to sit, for instance, items can be suspended from a baby gym. 

Think about how your child might interact with the objects. It’s good to include things that rattle, fit inside each other or that can be used to build and demolish. Typical soft toys, for example, don’t offer as much sensory feedback. 

The same concept can be used to encourage memory. By including items attached to a specific experience, your child can revisit and recollect.