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TREASURE BASKETS & HEURISTIC PLAY Treasure Baskets were developed by Elinor Goldschmied in the 1940s and were traditionally designed, in their purest form, for the infant wh ‘moves to walking (6 ~ 12 months). by Georgina Hood rough many years of research, it has been proven that providing sen- sory play for children is an essen- tial part of their development. This type of stimulation makes connections in the brain, develops memory, and assists learning through multi-sensory emphasis. It also en- courages discovery, problem solving, healeh and well-being. ‘The Sensory Stages are divided into three areas: ‘Treasure Baskees What is it? Heuristic play What can Ido with ite Further development What else cam this be? Treasure Baskets were developed by Elinor Goldschmied inthe 1940s and were tradition. ally designed, in their purest form, for th in fant who is siting bue then moves eo walking (6 ~ 12 months). This round basket includes 40 ~ 80 navural objeces and offers the child sitting but then texture, color, shape, weight, sensory interest and play value, with safeey paramount at all times. The objects include natucal ieems (such as: sponges, chestnuts, feathers, and pebbles, as well as objects made from metal, wood, wicker/bamboo, and pottery) The items are not ‘bought’ toys or plasti; they should be washable, and most are common in everyday tase by adults, The adule should feel confi- dent about the items in the Treasure Basket, ensuring that anything chey deem unsuitable is nor included, ‘When ineroducing a Treasure Basket to the seated infine, it should be placed to the side or in front of him/her. This type of play is entirely child led; they will initiate their ex plorations by themselves and for themselves. During this named time, the adult sts sup- porting chem, observing at all times; how ever, the adult should resise che temptation +o constantly offer comments, questions, oF lead with heir own ideas about how the baby TOMORROW'S CHILD © + SEPTEMBER 2014 + WWW.MONTESSORLORG In recent years, ator) the impor of providing Retiietsn tresses yy uaa cestni( Perera en should play with the objects in the basket. Through choosing, sucking, waving, handling, and banging these objects, infants will concen- cate their attention for considerable periods of time, often up to one hour In recent years, extensive neuroscience re search of this age range has proven the im- portance of providing stimulating resources, ‘opportunities, cime, and space for play. Babies are now commonly portcayed as sensory be- ings with incredible capabilites. “There are endless benefits of introducing Treasure Baskets to babies. They develop concentation, independence, confidence, fine- and gross-motor skills, hand/eye co-or- dination, and logical reasoning. They also en- courage language development, communica- tion, social sills, creativity, and imagination, The purpose of the collection of items in the basker i co offer maximum interest through: “Touch texture, shape weight Smell variety of cents ‘Taste limited cope but posible Sound ringing, tnkling banging Sight color, forms length, sine By 12 ~ 18 months, most babies are on the move and are developmentally ready for a sage. Heuristic play offers chil- dren of 12 months ~ 3 years the opportunity to play with lots of similar objects, including collections of bangles, bowls, balls, chains, ot poms poms, The extensive ange of materials offer the child open opportunites to invest gate and ate laid out in the Form of a market 35 further cb Corse ritec mes tare vi ok River eticos teal Erte ments acne tu (ona) share, take turns, and consider the niet kRU menos stall, They explore the cause and effec! ‘What can I do with it?) and cheough simple ‘object categorisation, the childs sensorial experiences are increased. Heuristic play en- hanes the childs social interaction, and they ‘experiment, shate, take turns, and consider the needs of others, In some nursery settings, the treasure basket idea has been expanded into interest baskess, which ate usualy a collection of similar ob- jects, for example: collections of balls, bangles, ‘or chains. Alongside che interese baskets, the adult may also provide activity cards for che childeen, if suitable, Jn 1988, T founded Paint Poss Montessori Schools and Creative Classes, and my interest in Treasure Baskets grew when Thad my Gist child 17 years ago. The frst Paint Pots Trea sure Baskets class was introduced a few years later and, to this day, isa cornerstone of what wwedo, We continue to offer infant classes, cre~ ative workshops, and Montessori education for childcen from biech ~ 6 yeas. ‘The classes are a gentle introduction to par- ents as chey embark on their Montessori jour- ney I get great enjoyment from working with ‘mothers and babies, and during these unique classes, they are introduced co ‘Treasure Bas- kets, Heuristic Play and music, with guitar and voice. Ie is an amazing privilege o see so many families, who iniially started attending iy baby class and have progressed into one of our schools at Paint Pers. ‘When introducing music to che babies, they are each given a basker, similar to the Trea- sure Basket. Each basket initially contains one small egg shaker and builds up with a variery of instruments and props, introduced as the session progresses, The music session finishes with the child having a fall baskee of props and instruments and everyone singing the goodbye song. ‘Alongside the creative classes and the Mon- tessori schools I also offer parenting classes, where the focus is on using creative develop- ‘ment to empower parents and enhance cheir understanding, knowledge, health and well boeing. In recent years I founded Heart Mon tessori and this International consultancy ‘grew out of the experience and knowledge that I gained ove two decades of research and practice in, Montessori settings. T regularly speak ae workshops and traning sessions in locations, including Jordan and China. I am very excited to be leading a workshop atthe Montessori Foundation's Annual Conference "Peaceful Classeooms, Peaceful Chiltren, Peaceful Schools” in Florida this November. For over 17 yeare, Ihave introduced Treasure Baskets and Heuristic Play co many families and I believe that my approach achieves an ideal balance becween the academic, social and ppeychological development ofthe child and che adult. Whether its working in the class with children, parents, or teachers, my aim iso leave an imprint of cate and creativigy. Georgina ia presenter at The Montessori Foundations IMC 18> Annual International Conference in Sarasota, FL (Nov. 6 = 9). Ml TOMORROW'S CHILD © + SEPTEMBER 2014 + WWW.MONTESSORI-ORG