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Treasure Baskets in the Library

Page history last edited by kay hones 2 years, 10 months ago

My students make Treasure Baskets for their little ones to explore.


My Students

Students range from 14-18 and many are learning English as a second language. Located in the sunny Mission, everyday teen moms and babies come to school. Young women can start at Hilltop while they are expecting and continue after their baby is born. Students continue with their academic education as well as learn parenting skills, healthy baby strategies and useful community resources (including jobs and money management).

Until 2014, there was no library at Hilltop.  The library includes books and electronic resources for academics & a makerspace as well as books for little ones & teen pleasure reading.

Hilltop students have very busy lives filled with school, homework, jobs and family responsibilities of caring full-time for an infant! When they come to school, they are eager to learn both academic work, parenting skills and work related skills.


Treasure Basket Project

Teen moms will be able to "check out" more than books from the school library.

We will create Treasure Baskets with safe, fun objects like measuring cups that children can explore & play with.

Teen moms will learn about safety with everyday items, including measuring for choking hazards. They will learn to select everyday items like pinecones, & what is safe for each age.

They will also learn that many, many household items are fun, safe and educational for their little ones. While mom is cooking, toddlers can stir, measure & talk about baking!

These Treasure Baskets will be models for our students to create age appropriate, at home Treasure Baskets for their little ones.


Good Toys for Young Children



Jute "TOYS" 17"Long x 13" Wide Storage Bin (NEW! Stronger Jute )- Storage Baskets for organizing Baby Toys, Kids Toys, Baby Clothing, Children Books, Gift Baskets (Large) • Amazon Business
Silicone Rubber Spatula Set of 3. Heat Resistant Pastry Spatulas for Baking; Flexible, Clear, Fun & Sturdy. 2 Large Spatulas and 1 Small Slim Spatula for Little Jars. Baking Gifts by YumYum Utensils • Amazon Business
Prepworks by Progressive Ultimate 19-Piece Measuring Cup and Spoon Set • Amazon Business
Safety 1st Small Object Choking Tester • Amazon Business
Tosnail Home Essentials Fabric Collapsible Convenient Storage Bin Nursery Baskets with Leather Handle For Bedroom, Closet, Toys, Laundry - Medium (14.5" Long x 10" Wide x 8" High) • Amazon Business
18pc Ellie Kids Plastic Tumblers, Snack Bowls & Snack Plates in 6 Colors • Amazon Business
Silicone Collapsible Measuring Cups Set By Nature's Kitchen • Amazon Business


STEM in Storytime


10 Tips for adding STEM to Storytime


Treasure Notes for each age


Safety & children's toys

Be aware of choking hazards & make sure to supervise appropriately

Safe toys for young children are well-made (with no sharp parts or splinters & do not pinch); painted with nontoxic, lead-free paint; shatter-proof; & easily cleaned.

Toys for children under age 3: no small parts or pieces that could become lodged in a child’s throat & cause suffocation.

Check toys frequently to make sure they are in good shape, not too worn.


Toys for young infants—birth through 6 months

Babies like to look at people—following them with their eyes: faces & bright colors. Babies are fascinated with what their hands & feet can do, lift their heads, turn their heads toward sounds, put things in their mouths, & much more!                                                                                                        Good toys for young infants:

  • Reach for, hold, suck on, shake, make noise with—rattles, large rings, squeeze toys, teething toys, soft dolls, textured balls, & vinyl & board books
  • Listen to—books with nursery rhymes & poems, & recordings of lullabies & simple songs
  • Look at—pictures of faces hung so baby can see them & unbreakable mirrors

Toys for older infants—7 to 12 months

Older babies are movers—rolling over & sitting, to scooting, bouncing, creeping, pulling themselves up, & standing. They understand their own names & other common words, can identify body parts, find hidden objects, & put things in & out of containers.

Good toys for older infants:

  • Play pretend with—baby dolls, puppets, plastic & wood vehicles with wheels, & water toys
  • Drop & take out—plastic bowls, large beads, balls, & nesting toys
  • Build with—large soft blocks & wooden cubes
  • Use their large muscles with—large balls, push & pull toys, & low, soft things to crawl over

Toys for 1-year-olds

One-year-olds are on the go! Typically they can walk steadily & climb stairs. They enjoy stories, say their first words, & can play next to other children. They like to experiment—but need adults to keep them safe.

Good toys for 1-year-olds:

  • Books with simple illustrations or photographs of real objects
  • Music: songs, rhymes, simple stories, & pictures
  • Create with—wide non-toxic, washable markers, crayons, & large paper
  • Pretend with—toy phones, dolls & doll beds, baby carriages & strollers, dress-up accessories (scarves, purses), puppets, stuffed toys, plastic animals, & plastic & wood “realistic” vehicles
  • Things to build with—cardboard & wood blocks
  • Use large & small muscles—puzzles, large pegboards, toys with parts that do things (dials, switches, knobs, lids), & large & small balls

Toys for 2-year-olds (toddlers)

Toddlers are rapidly learning language & have some sense of danger. BUT they do a lot of physical “testing”: jumping from heights, climbing, hanging by their arms, rolling, & rough-and-tumble play. They have good control of their hands & fingers & like to do things with small objects.

Good toys for 2-year-olds:

  • Solving problems—wood puzzles (with 4 to 12 pieces), blocks that snap together, objects to sort (by size, shape, color, smell), & things with hooks, buttons, buckles, & snaps
  • Pretending & building—blocks, smaller (and sturdy) transportation toys, construction sets, child-sized furniture (kitchen sets, chairs, play food), dress-up clothes, dolls with accessories, puppets, & sand & water play toys
  • Create with—large non-toxic, washable crayons & markers, large paintbrushes & fingerpaint, large paper for drawing & painting, colored construction paper, toddler-sized scissors with blunt tips, chalkboard & large chalk, & rhythm instruments
  • Books with more details
  • Music
  • Using their large & small muscles—large & small balls for kicking & throwing, ride-on equipment (tricycles when 3), tunnels, low climbers with soft material underneath, & pounding & hammering toys

Toys for 3- to 6-year-olds (preschoolers & kindergarteners)

Preschoolers & kindergartners have longer attention spans. They talk a lot & ask a lot of questions. They like to experiment with things & with their physical skills. They like to play with friends—and don’t like to lose! They can take turns—and sharing one toy by two or more children is often possible.

  Good toys for 3- to 6-year-olds:

  • Solving problems—puzzles (with 12 to 20+ pieces), blocks that snap together, collections & other smaller objects to sort by length, width, height, shape, color, smell, quantity, & other features—collections of plastic bottle caps, plastic bowls & lids, keys, shells, counting bears, small colored blocks
  • Pretending & building—many blocks for building complex structures, transportation toys, construction sets, child-sized furniture (“apartment” sets, play food), dress-up clothes, dolls with accessories, puppets & simple puppet theaters, & sand & water play toys
  • Create with—large & small crayons & markers, large & small paintbrushes & fingerpaint, large & small paper for drawing & painting, colored construction paper, preschooler-sized scissors, chalkboard & large & small chalk, modeling clay & playdough, modeling tools, paste, paper & cloth  scraps for collage, & instruments—rhythm instruments & keyboards, xylophones, maracas, & tambourines
  • Books with even more words & more detailed pictures
  • Music
  • Using large & small muscles—large & small balls for kicking & throwing/catching, ride-on equipment including tricycles, tunnels, taller climbers with soft material underneath, wagons & wheelbarrows, plastic bats & balls, plastic bowling pins, targets & things to throw at them, & a workbench with a vise, hammer, nails, & saw
  • Computer: programs that are interactive (the child can do something) & that children can understand (the software uses graphics &  spoken instruction, not just print), children can control the software’s pace & path, & explore a variety of concepts on several levels

Around the house toys: Plastic cookie cutters–to slide on & off their wrist or to roll across the floor. Plastic jars with lids - rolling across the floor, filling & dumping with items on a play mat, & screwing the lids on & off.Pots, pans, & spoons – pretend play experiences during dinner preparation as your child can mimic your actions. Hats –fun to take on & off, put on a family member’s head, or for fastening & unfastening (example Velcro clasps). 






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