When Ickle was about 10 months old, the lovely Auntie P. came to stay. “Why don’t you put together a treasure basket for her?” she suggested. The idea is simple: you gather a range of household and natural objects and put them in a basket. Then you sit baby down with the collection and observe from a distance. She decides which object to play with, and what she wants to do with it. It’s all about sensory exploration and developing an understanding of the properties of objects.*Baby Mivvy has had a treasure basket for a couple of months now. A few times a week when things are quiet, I sit her down on the floor with it and watch as she picks out the various objects of interest to her. On one occasion, she was fascinated by a short length of red ribbon, running it through her fingers and then popping it in her mouth; on another, she turned a circular handbag mirror around and around in her hands. Recently, she has started banging objects together and throwing them down. She certainly loves this type of play. And it keeps her occupied and interested for anything up to 45 minutes, which I find amazing for a little person.I try to refresh the treasures from time to time to provide new stimulation. Last week, I added a painted wooden soldier to the basket and Mivvy squealed when she realised that here was something *new* to play with. And the possibilities are endless: themed baskets, for example, by colour or type, or group treasure basket sessions with other littlies. Hmmm, now that could be a fun idea for a first birthday party!*Heuristic play is the official term. Google it to find out more.