Monday, July 30, 2012

Montessori Musings: Treasure Box for a Baby

Since becoming more knowledgeable about Montessori, I have also become a lot more choosy about the gifts that I give other children. My goal is to give age-appropriate gifts and things contribute to a child's overall development. When a friend recently had a baby boy, we decided to make a "treasure box" for him that his parents can begin to share with him now and that he can later explore on his own with parental supervision.

Montessori "treasure boxes"(also known as "treasure baskets") are part of the sensory materials that contribute to a child's overall development and ability to make sense of their world. The objects inside should stimulate the five senses and be large enough not to be swallowed. Montessorian Tim Seldin writes in How to Raise an Amazing Child that a child's brain receives stimulation through discriminating between the properties of different objects and this stimulation is essential to brain development and function. Often treasure boxes have a theme and we chose a nature one for ours.

We include the following items:
- birch tree stick
- seashell
- acorn
- pine cone
- rock
- wooden peg doll
- wool
- brightly colored pieces of felt

We chose a pretty box to put everything in and my daughter made a handprint with paint to decorate it. My son then wrote out some instructions for the baby's parents on what to do with the items inside.

My son's hand-written instructions in German.
My friend, the baby's mother, was quite pleased, and Baby seemed highly interested as well when we gently rubbed some of objects against his cheek.: ) 

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  1. I really like this idea for gifts- thanks for sharing!

  2. What a special idea for a baby gift, Sheila! It's awesome that your children were so involved in the process, too! Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

    1. Thank you, Deb! It's always an honor to be featured on your pages!