A few months ago I put together a Sensory Basket for Miss E. I’d planned to start using it straight away, but we’ve really only just started using it recently.
A quick search on Pinterest will give you a multitude of suggestions for sensory baskets but the general idea is to have a little treasure basket full of items of different textures, shapes, sizes and some that make noise. The items do not necessarily need to be toys, in fact, in a quick search around your house will probably find enough items to fill a basket straight away.
I went to my local cheap store to buy a small basket, and some interesting treasures to add to it. Along with things I found around the house, this is what currently lives in Miss E’s Sensory Basket…
- A plastic little egg/person/toy/thing that stands straight back up every time it’s knocked over.
- I bought a pack of small travel bottles and filled one with water and glitter, another with rice, and the other with beads. These look and sound interesting when she shakes them.
- A plastic container with a lid to place small items in and shake. When Miss E is a little older we’ll also use this to learn about putting things ‘in’ and taking things ‘out’.
- A soft bath sponge. Miss E loves putting this in her mouth!
- Some rough exfoliating gloves.
- Hair rollers. Again, Miss E loves putting these in her mouth, I can’t imagine anything worse!
- A silicon mixing spoon.
- A cheap toothbrush. This would be her favourite item by far! She enjoys chewing on both ends.
- A silicon muffin case. Also fun to chew on.
- A stretchy rubber toy.
- And nesting doll measuring cups.
Most of these things cost about a dollar to buy, or came from my kitchen cupboards.
My plan is to swap and change the contents of the basket every couple of weeks. Other things I might use are:
- A facewasher. Miss E loves playing with these!
- Pasta, rocks & sand in the small plastic bottles.
- Cookie cutters.
- Small metal bowls/trays.
- Cellophane in a length of tied up panty hose.
- (New) kitchen sponges.
- Pinecones/leaves/rocks (making sure they don’t end up in the mouth).
- Fluffy toys.
- Corrugated cardboard.
- Inflated balloons.
- A half inflated beach ball.
Keep in mind that as most of these items are not made with babies in mind, the Sensory basket requires constant supervision.
In our house, we only pull the sensory basket out every few days or so, and so Miss E still thinks it’s new and exciting each time. To begin with I would take items out of the basket and hand them to her one by one. Now she gets just as much enjoyment from rummaging through the basket herself, as what she does from actually playing with it all.