Monday, 15 March 2010

Treasure Basket Objects

A few people commented that they will be making treasure baskets too. To make it easier for you I've listed the objects that I put in mine:

From home:
  • Wooden spoon
  • Small metal whisk
  • Spring metal egg cup
  • Large pompom
  • Wooden paint brush
  • Large avocado seed
  • Velvet bag
  • Small mirror with wooden frame
  • Cardboard box
  • Velvet/ leather ring box
  • Crochet coaster
  • Pine cone
  • Large polished rock
  • Piece of off cut wood sanded
  • An apple
  • A carrot
  • A green pepper
  • A plum
  • A beaded keyring
  • Old keys on a ring
  • Small teddy bear
  • Wooden dolly pegs
  • Wooden massage tool
  • Wooden whistle [from Asda for £1]
  • Rabbit rattle
  • Wooden bath scrub with natural bristles
  • Wooden castanet
  • Wooden tambourine rattle
  • Wicker ball
  • Loafa scrub
  • Rosary beads
  • Small wooden hair brush
  • Wooden camel
  • Shiny golden snail box
  • Small heart shaped wooden plate
  • Triangular rattle: made the same as the smell bags but has a bell inside.
  • Metal sweet tin with rice inside
  • Smell bags: as in last post.
  • Wooden ribbon teething ring
  • Wooden home made rattle : Made with two wooden curtain rings, a piece of ribbon and a large bell.
There are many more things you can put in a treasure basket. I only spent £5 on the objects for my basket. The rest of the things I collected from around my home [and my mums and a friends :)].

Friday, 12 March 2010

Treasure Baskets

As part of the Montessori Degree that I'm doing, we had to make treasure baskets that are typically used with babies from 4 month until they become mobile. Treasure baskets are not a piece of original Montessori materials, but were first made by Eleanor Goldschmied who spoke about them in her book 'People under 3'. A good treasure basket should contain about 100 everyday objects for the child to explore. Objects should be natural and not made from plastic. A large basket should contain objects to develop each sense. Alternatively you can make smaller baskets, one for each sense. Below are some pictures of the basket and the objects I gathered.

I made these smell bags. The green one contains mint tea bags, the purple one contains lavender, the brown one contains clove and the rose patterned one contains rose petal. To keep the smell i store them in zip-lock bags and only take them out when a baby is using the treasure basket.
This is a teething ring that a friend made for my treasure basket. She used scraps of fabric and a wooden curtain ring. There is a tutorial for it here.

I found many of the things in charity shops and around the house. Interestingly the baby's favourite object was a wooden paint brush.

Biomes of Africa

My children love studying with the maps. To keep the maps interesting I allow them to choose how they want to study them. Some children are happy working moving from map to map only learning the names of the countries. Some children work with one map and study it further learning the names of the capital cities and flags. Other children decide they would like to look at the land forms in the continents, search for the rivers and lakes, look at which animals live and learn about the culture and people who live on the land. There's such a variety of ways to work with a map, but I always insist that the children learn about the countries first.

Below is the work of one of my older students. At first she learnt all the names of the country in Africa. She coloured in and labelled a print out map. Next she decided to look at the rivers in the continent, she carefully drew each river in Africa, noting which countries it travels through. She then decided to look at the biomes in Africa. I suggested that she find out about the land and try to construct it using materials that relate to the type of land.

For the deserts she used sand. She coloured the sand to differentiate between the different deserts in Africa. She used tissue paper for the forests, and layered it to show the layers of a rain forest. She used pieces of finely cut yellow card for the grass land.
The end result is amazing. The learning that took part in the construction of this piece is likely to stay with her forever. After completing this work she decided to do another project on landforms.