Natural Materials Treasure Basket – Heuristic Play

This is the second post in my treasure basket series, for it I am going to focus on the natural materials in Monkey’s basket. Heuristic play theory focuses very much on natural materials and allowing the child to explore the characteristics of the objects by smell, taste and touch. This is by far my favourite collection partly because I also find it so tactile as an adult. You can see the first post on his metal treasure basket here. Please note that some of these items are not suitable for very young children


  • Large White Feather (hobby craft)
  • Several Twine Balls of differing sizes
  • Piece of Bamboo
  • Rubber Doorstop
  • Small Card Box (wedding favour box)
  • Polish Semi Precious Stone
  • Various types of Shell
  • Piece of Loofa
  • Rubber Duck
  • Pine Cone
  • Pumice Stone
  • Cardboard Spool
  • Marble Egg
  • Natural Sponge
  • Glass Tea Light Holder
  • Cork Stopper
  • Flint
  • Stone
  • Reed Mat
  • Hessian Bag
  • Body Polisher
  • Walnut
  • String Bag
  • Duck Caller/Whistle

Some other metal items you may want to include are:

  • Leather shammy (I’ve included this in our material basket)
  • Sheepskin
  • Coconut Shell
  • Lemon/Orange
  • Avocado Stone or similar
  • Driftwood
  • Bag of Herbs/Lavender
  • Crystals

We store the items in home made fabric bags that represent the items within them, so the natural one is made from material with pebbles all over it. For a while now I have been wanting to put some new ones together for Monkey based on certain ‘themes’ so watch this space. xxx

Mums' Days


  1. Jenna

    Ohh I love making treasure baskets for my girl. This is a great list with many new additions I can add to ours. Thanks so much for the inspiration. 🙂


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