Have you ever heard of treasure baskets? They are a simple, wonderful, and magical idea for play. They are a large part of Montessori philosophy which embraces heuristic play. Here’s a great introduction to the concept, including suggestions.
I was inspired to make a treasure basket all about Druidism. Traditionally, treasure baskets are wide, rounded, and low for easy access, but I’m using a rectangular basket with a lid because it wasn’t being used for anything else. This Druidism treasure basket is very basic and as baby-friendly as possible right now while still avoiding plastics. Bee is only just starting to grasp and manipulate objects with her hands. She’s all about exploring with her mouth so things have to be safe*. The basket will grow and change as she does. Some of the items will likely move to a Waldorf concept – the nature table / play altar**!
- A paper skull for the ancestors.
- A fleece pink heart for the beloved dead (currently a favorite item).
- An extra Druid Animal Oracle card I had laying around for Nature Spirits, divination, and water since it depicts a seal.
- A wool ball I felted to symbolize Nature spirits and Brighid (sheep). It could also be a cloud for sky.
- A large seashell to represent the sea, Manannan, and the Nature spirits.
- A poof of yellow and orange mesh fabric to represent fire, sky, Brighid, and the Shining Ones in general.
In the Works:
- A general Goddess and God doll to represent the divine (duotheistic, I know, but I don’t want to be too prescriptive with her). Each will be made of a different texture to keep things interesting!
- A wooden teething tree. Her papa is responsible for this project!
- More treasure baskets! I plan to make/update one for each High Day! A Winter Solstice basket is already in progress.
* She will always be under supervision when playing with her treasure baskets. I feel nervous putting a shell in the mix, but it’s been cleaned and is too big for swallowing. So far, she just likes to look at it.
** Stay tuned as I explore and build a play altar with Bee!