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He Basket of Treasures It is one of the most complete experiences and the best gift (along with massages) that we can offer a baby from approximately 6 months. There are many ideas that you can find in different media about the materials that can and / or should compose it, but do you really know how and why to choose them? How to present them? How do YOU act at that moment?
The Treasure Basket was created by Elinor Goldschmied, a teacher and graduate in Social Psychiatry dedicated to early childhood development and mother-child relationships. She worked as a consultant for Infant Schools in the 0-3 stage in northern Italian cities, London and Barcelona.
With the Basket of Treasures, Elinor Goldschmied designed a game and learning proposal based on the possibility of discover the world from the child's autonomous and self-directed activity, promoting decision-making and the construction of new learning through the sensations that objects return.
The basket as a container must be wide and high enough so that do not tip over easily with objects inside if child handles. The number of objects that we put inside, as well as the arrangement, must be variable to ensure that the wonder and curiosity of the child keep their level of interest high. Of course, we have to be aware that the greater number of children who are going to manipulate it, the greater number of objects we will have to offer (although this implies putting repeated objects).
When choosing materials we must bear in mind that they should not be toys, but rather everyday objects that stimulate the child's senses, offering you information on weights, temperatures, sizes, textures, sounds, etc.
In this sense, we can group the materials based on the following classification:
1. Natural materials: slices of wood, peels or large fruit peels (oranges, lemons ...), large pieces of cork ...
As for wood, in addition to natural wood slices, we can offer more treated wood in the form of spools of thread, rings, mortars, large spoons, massage rollers, etc.
2. Metallic objectss: small bowls, large bunches of keys with rounded edges, egg beats, metal rings, spoons, etc.
3. Cloth objects: purses, pieces of fabric of different textures, bath mitts, balls of wool, etc.
4. Objects that make sounds: bells, strips of bells, wooden maracas.
5. Bristle objects: combs, toothbrushes, makeup remover brushes ...
[Read +: How to make a sensory tray for children]
These objects must be chosen under the indispensable criteria of safety and hygiene. In this sense, we will have to make sure that the materials do not have sharp edges or points that could hurt children, that they are large so that they cannot be completely inserted into their mouths or that they do not have pieces that come off with handling.
We must be aware that the mouth throws a large amount of information about objects and that children explore everything they want to discover by sucking and biting, since they are in that oral phase, so in addition to being safe, the materials must facilitate hygiene and must be able to be washed after each use.
Based on both premises, the adult must be aware and replace those objects that deteriorate and lose their properties or begin to pose a danger to children.
This activity is designed to children between approximately 6 and 12 months. It usually begins to be offered when children are able to sit up by themselves (since their hands are free to facilitate manipulation and exploration of the Basket) and it evolves until children are able to move around (from that moment on, children exponentially broaden your interests and the Basket may no longer satisfy your curiosity.)
However, I advise you do not restrict activities as beautiful as this in certain months default. Observe your child, your students, and propose the approach to the Basket little by little when the children are comfortable lying down and are interested in discovering what surrounds them.
There are children with 8-9 months who crawl and crawl moving through space in search of satisfying their interest, but who have not yet acquired the sitting position by themselves, in these cases Basket can be a highly beneficial activity for them even if they do not comply with the slogan of 'being able to remain seated'.
The Spanish teacher and writer José María Toro says that 'Presence is the ART of presenting your essence' and precisely this is the role that the adult must assume while the child IS next to the Basket of Treasures. El Cesto is an opportunity to discover, to explore, to BE based on one's own initiative, interest, and self-directed activity.
The child must be able to decide what to take and how to discover it. Whether it is hard or soft, whether it sounds or not, whether it is cold or warm, are not attributions that the adult should expose to the child. The essence of the adult must be to offer their presence but without explicitly intervening. We must not show, wave or suggest. Simply taking care of the presentation and the content, without doing anything else, we will be doing EVERYTHING.
During the time that the Basket is available to the child, our mission is to OBSERVE the actions of children, we can point out those things that are most significant to us such as their favorite objects, if they do concrete actions with them, what materials generate rejection or dislike, etc. We can vary the objects in the Basket, expanding the offer and varying the layout so that the children feel motivated and surprised every time they find the Basket.
When we see that children's actions are becoming more 'heuristic' (fill-empty, put-take out, stack, build ...), the time has come to evolve this activity to Heuristic Game, changing both the materials and their presentation.
Just as the child has the opportunity to BE with the Basket of Treasures, the Basket must be able to BE. There is no one day of the week or one time of the day more suitable than another, the Basket is an activity that should always be available to the child.
Present, exposed and ready to satisfy the innate curiosity of the little ones, to return sensations to them and to accompany them in their first discoveries of this world to which, make no mistake, they are newcomers.
You can read more articles similar to Create your own Treasure Basket, the best gift for your baby, in the category of on-site infant stimulation.