Narrator (Catherine Sewell, play specialist): A really nice idea that you can do is create a treasure box. You can use any sort of container but it’s great if the container has a lid. You can collect any sorts of objects, pop them in the treasure box. They can open it and discover what’s inside. And each time that they are receiving it there’s something new in it, that element of surprise springboards their imagination and can take them into new ways of playing.
Adult: Is it a tree, Angelica? What’s in there?
Narrator: You can put almost anything inside this little box. It doesn’t need to be something new. It can be things that you just collect from around the house. It might be that you want to make a bit of a theme, so perhaps you have like a beach theme treasure box and you put a little bit of a sand and a couple of shells in there, or a bigger idea that you’re exploring. So something to do with different cultures or are they interested in insects or a particular type of animal.
You could put collections of things, so items that are the same colour. Little bits of red things that you can find around the house, or items that are the same shape can be really interesting. You could put in objects, especially for very young children, that are just different textures, like a brush and something shiny and something that’s rough or smooth, and it might be just some bits of ribbon or some cardboard tubes or some fabric that you put in there but it’s amazing what they are able to do with those objects once the element of surprise is there and you might ask that open-ended question, ‘I wonder what that could be. I wonder what you could do with that’, and then see.
This idea is a really nice one if you’ve got really limited space and you want to springboard some new ideas, but it also can be nice when you’re sort of stuck somewhere. So if you’re in the waiting room or if you’re unwell or your child is a bit unwell and maybe in hospital, or if you’re travelling somewhere, so the idea of kind of creating a world inside a small box, and that is the springboard for their imagination and to be able to create games.