In our last post I talked about what makes a good treasure basket and some simple ideas to get started with, if you missed it you can catch up here; Treasure Baskets 6-8 Months.
Treasure Baskets are a simple and hugely effective way to offer sensory play and introduce an informal element of Practical Life and Self Care. They are also free! And in a Montessori world obsessed with materials and toy rotation free is an added bonus! I’m going to use this as an opportunity to say that most of these baskets weren’t even in baskets! Gasp! What kind of a blogger am I?!
Wallet of Cards
Can I call it a basket if it’s not in a basket? Alfie is obsessed with my purse and credit cards and delights in getting his hands on them (perhaps he sees me modelling too many card transactions!!) This was simply a collection of old reward cards popped into an easy open purse however it proved to be a challenging and rewarding fine motor activity. Opening the wallet, picking up the cards and examining the snap fastener all proved to be quite tricky but Alfie loved it! So far he has managed to open the purse and empty it but we’re still working on filling it again.
This is another ‘non-basket’ basket! It was WAY more popular than I thought it would be! Our first attempt to brush Alfie’s teeth was greeted with abject horror. There were lots of looks/noises along the lines of “What are you doing to me parents, you’re supposed to love me! Get that minty stick out of my mouth immediately!” The next day I put all of our spare toothbrushes and pastes into a cup, along with a small mirror and a tiny bottle of mouth wash, and placed them in front of him and in no time Alfie was chewing on the bristles! (Not pictured are the photos I used of Fred and I brushing our teeth, mortifying and unflattering, no one needs to see them!) after he’d been playing for a while I brushed my teeth, then he brushed my teeth/whacked me in the face with a drool-soaked tooth brush and finally I gave his teeth a very quick rub! Hurray! Brushing his teeth is getting much easier, thank god!
Brushes and Bristles Basket
This is a basic basket of wooden brushes and natural bristles. I had dared to hope that this basket would make him reluctant to put things in his mouth…so far no joy! He has very much enjoyed the bristle buffet over the last few weeks.
To say that Alfie is obsessed with plants is possibly an understatement. He just LOVES them in a can’t-eat-breakfast-without-waving-out-the-windows-at-them, can’t-walk-past-a-flower-in-the-street, simply-has-to-touch-them kind of way. It’s nothing short of a passionate flower affair which I think is a wonderful trait! The concentration and delicacy he shows when inspecting a flower is extraordinary…..but completely ordinary in a Montessori environment that follows the child! Unfortunately Alfie cannot be trusted not to eat everything that moves within his orbit so this is as close as he is allowed to anything potentially poisonous, despite the enforced safety measures, he still loved looking at them.
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