Half an hour

Early Years - Make a Scala Treasure Basket

Welcome to the first installation of GO Baby online, we miss all of our early years sessions so much we decided to create an online programme of activities for our 0 -5’s and their families.

From treasure baskets to DIY craft activities we hope our series of blog posts will help you and the family through isolation. We would love to see your responses so please tag us on social media using @GalleryOldham or send pictures to evad.ouldokojie@oldham.gov.uk

Scala Treasure Basket 

The first in our GO Baby digital series is inspired by the painting ‘Scala’ by Jeffrey Steele.

Black and White geometric patterned image

Steele, Jeffrey; Scala; Gallery Oldham; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/scala-90884

Born in Cardiff, Steele travelled to Paris where he encountered the work of geometric abstractionists and adopted a lifelong abstract approach to his work. For many years Steele worked purely in black and white, then started to introduce colour into his work from the 1970’s onwards. His work has been exhibited across the world and is part of numerous collections across the UK including Gallery Oldham.

This week’s early years activity is a treasure basket inspired by the colours and textures found in Steel’s work. Treasure baskets are a collection of objects that you can easily find at home. They’re simple to make, support your little one’s sensory development and can be fun treasure hunts for any older children too!

They support children’s learning by allowing exploration of objects using the five senses. At GO Baby and GO Explorers we make huge treasure baskets that allow our babies to explore the materials and objects using their whole body.

You can make your treasure baskets as big or as small as you like, you can use as many objects as you can find but variety is key. Perhaps you could use Gallery Oldham’s art collection as inspiration for your treasure basket, just like we have.  You can find images of the vast collection by visiting the Art UK website. 

We loved this piece and thought our babies and families would too. From long straight black and white lines, to the central oval shape and repeat patterns. The colours, or lack of, really excited us when we chose this; in the first year of a babies life there are limitations in eyesight and they respond well to simple bold patterns. The visual contrast encourages babies to explore the different patterns and textures. Strong black and white patterns also help babies to develop their ability to focus their attention. We decided to concentrate on high contract items our treasure basket has a mixture of soft and hard, bouncy and still, wooden and plastic items.

We chose items which represented the piece of art work and also enabled our little ones to explore it using all of their senses.

Our Treasure Basket includes: 

– Fairy lights inside of a Tupperware                – Red and White body scrubbers
– Pastry Brush                 – Shiney Ball                – Storage Basket
– Rice filled Glove           – Wooden Utensils     – Black and White fabric

Home made treasure basket

Home made treasure basket







What's involved?

Follow the information above and create your very own Scala inspired treasure basket! We would love to see your creations! Please tag us in on our social media @galleryoldham or you can send pictures to evad.ouldokojie@oldham.gov.uk



Why get involved?

Our Go Baby early years sessions are a great way to be creative with your little one! Our new Go Baby digital challenges will give you ideas of how to use our brilliant multi sensory approach at home to do fun activities and help support your child's learning and development.

How to get involved?

Step 1: Log in to your Take Part account

Step 2: Accept the challenge so we know you're taking part

Step 3: Create your very own Scala Treasure basket and share the results with us via our social media @galleryoldham!

Ideal Skills

  • Working with Children 0-5yrs
  • Working with Children 6 - 12yrs

Ideal Interests

  • Creative and Arts
  • Design
  • Learning and Education

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