Montessori Baby

The author, trained as a Montessori primary teacher (AMI), documents and analyzes her efforts to raise a "Montessori" baby.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Basket of Treasures

The other day, I read an article on Montessori Magazine's website (see link) advocating the creation of a "Basket of Treasures" for babies. The premise behind the idea was that household objects are far more fascinating to babies than most toys; not only do such objects have greater variety in their textures, smells, shapes, sounds, and colors, but they also are objects that babies see adults using in their environment.

The author of the article suggests walking around your house with a basket collecting a variety of objects with an eye toward including various materials of different properties, colors, shapes, weights, sounds, smells, and so on. For older babies, these might include objects that can be put into relationship with one another, such as jars and clothespins.

That same day, I gathered together a basket for Alex. Here are the items I included:

-drink holder -small ceramic bowl -plastic CD case -large straw
-hairbrush -wine topper -bottle brush -large washers
-coaster -garlic press -metal tongs -empty bottle
-jar with golf ball -spice jar with basil -coat hook -baby socks
-pastry bag top -small cutting board

I plopped Alex down next to it after a nap and feeding. At first, he was fascinated with the basket itself. He pulled its handles and untied the cloth interior. Eventually, he discovered that he could take objects out of the basket. He began exploring them one at a time, dropping them to the side when he was finished. Occasionally, one on the mat beside him would catch his eye and he'd give it another go.

On our first go-round with this new activity, Alex entertained himself for the better part of an hour (minus a break for a snack and help back into an upright position). What a great new item to put in our arsenal of daily activities!


At 3:56 AM, Blogger casso said...

Harriet loves the everyday items that are too big and unwieldy to put into a basket - the colander, broom, pots and pans. We have found that the little rubber drop syringe that we give her Panadol in is one of her favourite toys! I definitely agree that the everyday is much more interesting for our babies. Will try this with Miss Harriet soon...although I did just buy her a ball pool so that might be the focus for the next short while anyway.

Cheers, Cass


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