Why Sensory Baskets

What is a sensory basket?

It is a basket full of sensory treasures allowing your little one to develop, explore and tantalise all their senses. It is a basket full of wonderment allowing them to play, learn, discover through some of the most powerful and intense tools we have as humans, our senses! 

Watching your little one dive into their basket and rummage around to find a new item that they might not have seen before and to observe as they run their fingers across the crevices and bumps and watch as they smell it with their noses and make a sound when they bash it on the floor. All the senses come into play and they are flooded with the richness of their senses as they begin their own personalised and unique journey with a sensory basket which has endless learning opportunities and self discovery.


Benefits of a sensory basket

Some of the ideology of a sensory basket comes from a Montessori ethos is based on the proven fact that children learn through understanding and doing rather than being told. In addition to this the term Heuristic play coined by the psychologist Elinor Goldsmith in the 1980s describes the activity of babies and little people as they play and explore the properties of objects that are things from the real world.

Another theory has been described by John Locke who believed that children were born without any pre-existing knowledge and that children's development of knowledge needed caregivers to introduce new experiences to children from which upon they could learn. When discussing Locke's theory the term “ Tabula Rasa” has been used in that the human mind is a blank slate upon which experience writes.

The sensory basket encourages little people to “do” through discovering the contents of their baskets which is full of fascinating real world natural objects. This sense of discovery and self learning can lead to a inner confidence and sense of self belief in their abilities to learn, assimilate and accommodate new information in skills such as problem solving. They can begin the tiny building blocks of understanding regarding what they can do, what they can change and what they have to accept.

The sensory basket can be one of many new sensory experiences little people can be introduced to which can allow the “blank slate” of the mind to flourish and and to be filled with with endless learning and knowledge.

When we realised that a child's brain undergoes the largest and most significant development from birth to three and due to this it produces more than a million neural connections each second, it made us realise the importance of ensuring that we provided our own children with the opportunities to engage in new learning experiences. We wanted to find a way where we could introduce daily new experiences to allow biology and the environment to unite and to allow our children to develop and discover themselves, others and the world. Thus we realised the importance of the sensory basket and in particular a zero plastic sensory basket. We wanted to enable our little people to play with natural elements to learn and discover their sense of self and the real world through the earth's natural materials rather than the artificial sheen that plastic offers them. Our own personal experiences as parents has allowed us to experience the absolute joy when we watch our little ones begin to discover all the richness that the world has to offer as well as to begin to experience and the tapestry of emotions that we can access as human beings.

The importance of utilising this period of development is so important that this made our passion for zero plastic sensory baskets grow to a point where we wanted to share it with our family, friends and now through the development of hollyandjoe.co.uk as many little people as possible.


Why a zero plastic sensory basket?

The original idea for a zero plastic sensory basket came from a desire to reduce our plastic content in our everyday life as we try hard to ensure we leave behind a healthy planet for our little people. As parents we looked at our children's toys and their favourtie toys of their sensory baskets and we decided we wanted them to explore the natural textures, smells and sounds that the world has to offer and not just feel the glossy sheen of plastic that ends up on our landfills and is slowly contributing to environmental destruction.

This product is a “ zero plastic sensory baskets” and items do not contain any plastic. Too often are we presented with shiny plastic toys which do not depict or reflect all the wonderful materials that the world has and so this sensory basket is full of natural materials that are either sustainable, recyclable or can be reused - it is waiting for your little one to begin their journey and tap into the the pleasures and learning 

We want to sense the bumps, the crevices, the rough, the smooth, the cold, the warm, the heavy, the silky, the soft, the tantalising smells and to hear the harmonious sounds of all the wonderful items.

We have also tried to purchase and sell items that are good quality and can be reused which is the case with our children in which we have now passed the sensory basket down to our youngest child although we have continued to add new and interesting items too.

There are also multiple uses for these items not only for your child to explore with all their senses and play with but for us as caregivers too. For example with my older child we have also used her sensory basket items (once they had a wash) to bake with and so they grow with her. We have also used her scourers to clean my pots with once she had finished with them, again allowing them to be reused before they are composted and therefore never entering landfill!

The wonder and multi purpose nature of sensory baskets never cease to amaze us and we love watching each individual child play and explore it differently we belive that as caregivers we learn so much about our child by watching they play and explore.

We have also carefully selected sensory toys which do not have any plastic content with them all the toys we have chosen all have sensory elements to them and can be added to your little ones sensory basket. They are beautiful, from sustainable materials, ethical and are well made and designed that they are timeless pieces and can be revisited again and again and incorporated into new play and sensory activities and experiences.

We hope you enjoy your sensory basket or sensory items as much as both of us and our little people have. It has been a wonderful adventure for us sourcing and making these items and we thank you for supporting our little family business in the hills!

Delve in and explore, see what happens! We would love to hear your stories and little ones journeys with their sensory baskets! If you would like to share please email us on.... and we can share them on our blog and social media to allow other little people find new ways of using these wonderful multi purpose baskets.

Why music baskets?

In the About Us page I described my passion for music and sound, however when you begin to read and look into the research of music and sound you begin to see that studying music has a significant correlation with improved cognitive function.

Children, regardless of age, who have had interactive experiences with music and sound have demonstrated improved memory, language, and math skills over those who have not had such exposure.

Music is a universal expression that is enjoyed by the majority of cultures throughout the world. It brings people together and is a universal language that we are all capable of speaking and hearing.

Rhythm and sound occur naturally and what better way to connect to your environment than by utilising natural elements to create music with your little ones? For babies the musical journey begins in the womb, learning the sounds of their parents and siblings before they have officially arrived into the world. Once they are able to sit up and explore their environment for themselves they bang things together, blow, taste and shake whatever they can get their hands on! They soon discover for themselves that they can control the sounds they make and what sounds excite them.

We source our instruments to stimulate as many senses as possible. Vivid colours, interesting textures and a variety of sounds help keep babies and toddlers engaged. Making sounds with their parents or caregivers also gives the child a new avenue of social interaction as they learn to work in harmony with others.


Love from

Holly & Joe 

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