Sensory baskets or treasure boxes can cost up to £50, which for a squeezed maternity budget is not always viable. However, I have managed to make a sensory basket for free using Ralph’s old moses basket. This was initially an idea I picked up from his play sessions. However, the options for different types of sensory experiences are limitless. For this post I have featured a material sensory basket but I have listed other types of baskets you could put together:
- Balls -bouncy, squishy, light up, rubber, hard, soft
- Music – musical toys, rattles, tambourines, shakers.
- Kitchen utensils – obviously this needs your own judgement depending on your baby’s age but spatulas, whisks, plastic egg cups and wooden spoons are all super interesting to babies.
- Tubs – different sizes, shapes and colours. You can also fill the tubs with different types of pasta, beans or lentils, giving a musical experience as well.
The materials I’ve used in my basket are:
- Knitted patches
- Zips (adult supervision)
- Crinkly paper
- Bubble wrap (adult supervision)
- Material which has a waxy feel
- Shredded paper
- Faux fur
- Cotton sheets (cut up)
Not only is this a great way to get some extra life out of your moses basket but it can be completely free to put together and will stimulate your baby’s senses in so many ways. I could go on all day about the benefits to sensory play but by engaging in sensory play your helping your child develop pathways for language, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills and social skills
For my basket I have used materials I have found at home. Take a look through your wardrobe and cut up any clothes, scarves you don’t want anymore. I also use packaging from parcels but these usually require adult supervision. If cutting up items isn’t for you take a look in your local pound shops and charity shops. The most important thing, apart from having lots of fun, is to make sure everything you put in your basket is safe – no choking hazards, sharp edges, loose threads etc.
Your basket can also grow with your baby, you can add and take away things as they get older and this will keep the basket interesting. Ralph loves his basket and is happy to explore on his own, perfect for when you have ironing or chores were you can’t keep a constant eye on them but need to make sure they are safe. As the basket is portable you carry the basket around the house with you so you can always hear and see them.
Let me know in the comments if you have already made a sensory basket and what did you find to put in it.