Treasures with frayed edges.

”We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
(Walt Disney)

Childhood curiosity is a powerful thing.  Even from a very young age children seem intrigued by novelty.  They want to shape their own minds about what they do and don’t like, what it is they want to see, explore and discover next.

So when my mum made our little girl her first ever treasure basket at the beginning of this year it was an all out hit.  A whole basket full of new, unknown objects…what a wonder!  The treasure basket concept is not new, but is becoming more popular as increasing numbers of parents look for stimulating, engaging, and natural alternatives to plastic play things for their children.

sensory play and exploration...taste testing!

sensory play and exploration…taste testing!

When making a treasure basket, the idea is to choose items which arouse a child’s curiosity, help them develop motor skills, give them the opportunity to experience something new and most importantly, have fun!

As a baby-friendly first treasure basket, ours had a mix of things to engage the auditory, visual and kinesthetic senses which were small and light enough for little hands to examine independently. A shiny brass hand bell, a nail brush, a hand mirror, a wooden spoon, an embroidered handkerchief, a bamboo woven ball, a powder-puff, and a pompom on the end of a long multi-coloured woven rope.

Some of the items were more popular than others.  The hand bell, mirror and rope with pompom attached being the main attractions.  Even though that treasure basket has since been disassembled and replaced by other incarnations to keep the curiosity alive, the rope is still a favourite toy.  Our little girl often goes to find it in her toy box.  Sitting on the floor and stretching it, squashing it, running it over her hair and face, tasting it, carrying it, or dragging the pompom along on the rope behind her.


Coils of hand-twisted rope. With extra added love from Granny.

My mum made it by hand out of different balls of coloured wool.  It wasn’t a difficult or particularly time-consuming creation for her, but it was made with lots of love and thought.   As such I love that our little girl has taken to it so much.  It is admittedly looking a bit tatty and frayed at the edges these days, but then all the most-loved toys do by the time they’re done with don’t they?  I’m working on the theory that a play box full of well-worn, frayed and thread-bare toys is a sign of a contented, busy, fun-filled childhood.


I’ve really loved seeing the variety of other interpretations of ‘fray’ by fellow bloggers for this week’s ‘fray’ WordPress weekly photo challenge.  That is sometimes the beauty of a more unusual theme.  Some of my favourites so far include these gems:


15 thoughts on “Treasures with frayed edges.

    1. jennylratcliffe Post author

      I totally agree Annette! I love thinking of new experiences and opportunities for her. We have a mix of bought things and every day household things…plus the great outdoors of course!


  1. lifelessons

    So glad to some playthings for children not made of plastic! Babies always prefer pots and pans or “treasures” pulled out of purses or drawers anyway. If you give children in Mexico toys, they soon abandon them and wander off to watch or “help” their parents work. Imagination is the best plaything of all! Judy


    1. jenny Post author

      I was a ‘montessori’ child, and it is a value I’ve held on to. So for inspiring play for my daughter, I’m much more into real life, natural and household objects if I can manage it. I’m glad to find someone on a similar wavelength! :o)



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