Skip to main content

Heuristic play ideas- 88 free, borrowed, handmade or cheap treasure basket ideas

I love sensory play, and when I first found out about the idea of heuristic treasure baskets  I really connected with the ideas behind them.
The  principle is to create a play environment where children can engage with real world objects to develop a creative and practical outlook on the world.
Child activist Elinor Goldschmeid believed that passive toys created active children and vice versa. 
She stressed that the best toys are the toys that don't do anything, especially for babies.
During their first year babies explore the world primarily by touch.  It makes sense then to provide a variety of different sensory experiences.
Heuristic baskets are so popular and supported by developmental professionals that sure start centres in the UK spend a large amount of money buying these baskets from dedicated sellers which start at about £80.
I sell sensory kits on eBay and complete treasure baskets (starting at £2.99) these are comprised of hand finished items and slightly more difficult to get hold of items.

But I'll let you into a secret.  You don't need to spend a penny to create your own.

Free and recycled sensory basket items:
Feathers
pinecones
shells (large enough to not become a choking hazard)
stones (as above)
kitchen roll tubes
leaves
plastic drinks bottles
envelopes
old gloves or hats
hot drink tubs
paper bags
Jam jar lids
building blocks
Plastic take away containers
Shoe laces (clean)

Household items the basket can borrow
wooden spoons
key rings
metal spoons
whisks
seives
paint brushes (washed and free from any left over paint-preferably new)
hair brushes
Old door knobs
Old silk scarves
Bath scrunchie
Sea sponge
Spatuala
Cake cases (silicon)
Napkins
Napkin rings
Bracelets (make sure secure from braking)
Necklaces (as above)
Rubber Bath plug
Wooden bowls
Watch straps
Honey dipper
Cookie cutters
Rolling pin
Hair scrunchie
Comb
Tupperware containers
Draw string bags
Straws
Rope
Juggling bags
Tennis balls
Egg timer
Slotted spoon
Tea strainer
Outgrown clothing (ie booties or hats)
Baby safe Christmas decorations
Tea spoons
Plastic coat hanger
Curtain tie back
Meat mallet (small)
Mesh laundry tablet bag
Soap dish
Belt loop
Old fashioned dish cloth
Stainless steel tea pot
Tea cosy
Shower curtain rings
Old lace

Things you can make
A strand of corks sewn together
Knitted square
Macaroni (or any pasta or grain) rain maker
Peg dolls
A sensory teething ring (tie ribbons to a teething link)
Large wooden beads threaded on a shoe lace
Play doh
Felt ball
Knitted triangle

Things to buy on a budget
Dolly pegs
Knitted squares
Ribbons (tied around a ring is especially good)
Raffia
Craft feathers
Squares of fake fur
Squares of fleece
Squares of felt
Jingle bells
Maracas
Small tambourine
Small drum
A zip
Artificial flowers


Disclaimer: whilst heuristic play is independent (baby explores items on their own) it is important you are always present to supervise the play and ensure any items that become unsafe to use are removed from your baby.  I take no legal reasonability for any injury that may be caused whilst exploring treasure basket items. But hey you are all fabulous responsible parents who know this anyway. So enjoy it and have fun

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Little Bloom- Cloth Nappy reviews

If you are a newbie in cloth its hard to know what to buy. I've been using  Cloth Nappies  for 16 months with my first born, and am preparing to have two in cloth when my daughter arrives in May. You could say I'm somewhat of cloth nappy pro. I've moved on from my start up stash, and invest in nappies that will see us through til froggy potty trains, and ideally ones his baby sister can use afterwards too! Pocket nappies are great for this purpose and this week I'm reviewing the little bloom nappies You can grab little bloom nappies on  amazon  from as little as £2.89 delivered. So they are a cheap option but are they cheerful enough to do the job?

Starting our kitchen garden

Growing our own food has been an ambition of my husband and I. We both really value locally sourced produce,  and enjoy spending time outdoors.  In our first home together (a basement flat in the city centre) we planted anything and everything we could in planters on the windowsill.   I had green beans trailing up the bars of our windows. They bolted and twirled up the bars but never got enough light  to produce anything edible. Then we moved into our first pub which had masses of outdoor space, unfortunately,  all car park and no dirt. We managed to sustain some hanging baskets with strawberries and a few herb planters, but that was about it.  Now we are in our new home.  A lovely country pub in the new forest, whiich offers a private garden just for our little family.  We moved here when I was 8 months pregnants and ever since, I've been desperate to make the most of it.  Since the new year we've been planning what to do with this neglected space.  I found this

Lovely leftovers- healthy peri-peri turkey

I hope all of my lovely blog readers had a fabulous Christmas. We were pretty hectic with 10 for lunch on the big day, and 20 eating on Christmas night. We were kindly given our turkey this year by our local farm shop, we run with weekly meat draw at our pub for them. It was a little larger than I would have ordered otherwise. I got them to remove and bone the legs, so I could stuff them and roast them as mini joints. They were really yummy, but we had a lot of meat left over. I used up my turkey and veggie (carrots, parsnips, sprouts) left overs to make this yummy peri-peri one pot dish. Which is yummy but nice and light after the Christmas carb fest. Made in the slow cooker in just over an hour, it's a great meal to chuck on before a walk in this lovely wintery weather we are having. Last night I simply chopped up the left overs into chunks and sprinkled with peri-peri seasoning. Then this morning I put a small handful of pasta in my slow cooker with a third of a pint of wa