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Treasure baskets for babies and toddlers

Treasure baskets for babies and toddlers

Following on from my post Baby toys on a shoestring I’ve updated Baby R’s treasure baskets with some more homemade and natural play things. As he is developing, so are his play preferences and I’m always on the lookout for new sensory activities, with Pinterest being my main source of inspiration (check out my Baby & Toddler play Pinterest boards) And The Imagination Tree     My main aim for any treasure basket items are to use everyday things that can be recycled. I’m a boxes and bottles hoarder ( it must be in the genes as my sister recently confessed to owning 20 small Lucazade bottles, just incase!) which leads me nicely onto my first item….

  • Ever noticed how babies love to pull every baby wipe out of the packet?

baby destroying a packet of baby wipes!

Given the opportunity, Baby R will happily sit and extract every wipe from the packet and as they’re such a precious commodity in our house (I’m compiling a list of all the things I’ve ever used a baby wipe for, so far I have 27!) I’d rather he didn’t waste them all, so I’ve cut a hand sized hole in the top of a shoe box and stuffed it full of ribbons and material (mainly my scarf collection). Baby R can them pull the scarfs through to his heart’s content. Used tissue boxes are perfect for this as the hole is already pre-cut and smaller brightly coloured baby wipe sized material is better for smaller hands.

 tissue box filled with scarves for baby and toddler play ideas. heuristic play and treasure baskets



  • Discovery bottles have always been a favourite of mine and I found the perfect shape and size for shaking, rolling and biting. This was an old Bio Oil bottle. I removed the pouring stopper, filled with red lentils and glitter then  wrapped a textured ribbon around it.

discovery bottle. Heuristic play and treasure baskets



My final activity was something I wanted to help him with Baby R’s pincer grip. He’s very ‘grabby’ at the moment, reaching out and wanting to touch and explore everything in sight so to support his sensory desires, I filled a baking tray with uncooked rice, laundry bottle lids and some small weaning pots. He dived straight in with both hands, picking up handfuls of rice, I did have to scoop a few out of his mouth, but once he’d had a few tastes and worked out what it was, he carried on exploring with his hands. I scooped and sprinkled the rice and he loved watching it fall into the tray getting the visual and auditory sensory effects.

heuristic rice play Heuristic play, treasure baskets,

I’m constantly on the look out for new items, I’d love to hear any ideas you have and what your baby loves to play with, batteries not included.




  1. 19th February 2015 / 6:34 am

    I love your ideas 🙂 I am going to try the tissue box and scarf one later!! X

    • 19th February 2015 / 6:42 am

      Thank you, I’m on the look out for a shallower tray for the rice as he likes to sit in it now!

  2. 20th February 2015 / 7:54 am

    really great idea ideal for my lottie! she loves playing with pasta in metal saucepans think its the noise she likes just picking them up and dropping them in there. #thelist

    • 20th February 2015 / 8:15 am

      I use pasta as well, just dragged my son away from the dried dog food he managed to get into. I draw the line at that though!

  3. 20th February 2015 / 1:21 pm

    Love the tissue box idea. I’m so going to do that this week! #thelist

    • 20th February 2015 / 4:51 pm

      Hope your little one has as much fun with it as mine did

  4. 20th February 2015 / 4:13 pm

    I love these ideas – especially the tissue box, that is brilliant! Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

  5. Jen
    22nd February 2015 / 1:44 pm

    When I first got into childcare, I never understood treasure baskets, but now I realise their full potential and they’re amazing!

    • 22nd February 2015 / 2:23 pm

      Same here, my sons just not that interested in toys.

  6. 22nd February 2015 / 4:37 pm

    Love these ideas. I am looking for something to engage my 2 year old when he isn’t at nursery a bit more so going to give this a go!

  7. 22nd February 2015 / 9:03 pm

    Never too late to start. They’ll use their imagination for any item

  8. 23rd February 2015 / 8:47 pm

    Oh what a good idea I just seem to put everything up high out of the way! Good tips, will use this. Thanks for sharing #sundaystars

    • 23rd February 2015 / 10:13 pm

      I do make sure everything’s safe & never leave him on his own with anything.

  9. 24th February 2015 / 8:36 pm

    I tried the tissue box idea – Sophie loves it!!!! Hours of fun! Thanks for linking up to #playathometuesdays

    • 25th February 2015 / 8:03 am

      Fantastic! Do you Instagram? I’d love to see a photo.

  10. 26th February 2015 / 1:48 pm

    Very cute! Gosh, it seems like ages since we did a sensory tub and now I can’t think of a single thing I’d put in them – it was generally anything textured and not too small from around the house!

    He still likes playing sensory boxes – so a tub like the one you have above with the rice, and I’ve filled it with anything from rice crisps to beans to rose petals 🙂

    thanks for linking up love xx #TheList

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