I must say that this simple toy basket was a great idea! At first we had toys thrown everywhere and I just couldn’t handle the messiness in our living room. Otherwise we were constantly trekking toys to and from the nursery. I decided to throw all the toys in a basket not knowing that my baby would love it. Now that he’s sitting up well, I just sit him down with his basket and he plays for long periods of time. He takes his toys out of the basket one by one, explores them, then moves to the next. He empties the basket, picks it up, puts it on his head, and plays with it. It is great for fostering independent play. There are so many learning opportunities that can be incorporated with it as well. We put toys in and out of it, hide toys under it, imitate, and do positional tasks (i.e., your ball’s on, under, beside, inside). My favorite activity has been establishing the beginnings of understanding the concept of clean up. Often in a hurry, I forget to incorporate this but it’s a great little routine that I want to become more consistent with. So before we transition to another activity (leaving the play mat), we put the toys back in the basket while singing “clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere, clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.” I incorporate clean up in all of my speech therapy sessions to promote following directions, toy identification, naming, and self control. Clean up is a very important concept that is best taught early on!
Tip: cycle the toys out with different ones every couple days to maintain baby’s interest and exploration