Authentic resources in Early Years- How can you become a treasure hunter.

Let’s get started! It can be quite overwhelming, where do you start to find authentic items for your Early Childhood setting? Feeling self-conscious eyeing up other people’s stalls and rummaging around in their junk!

Right guys, my fellow Curiosity Approach magpies let’s get our minds in gear!

Set the scene – Listen carefully. You are on a mission to bring beautiful resources to your children, to find amazing resources that stimulate their senses, their imagination and creativity. 

Never mind what you think we could do with these treasures. It’s about our amazing confident little learners. Don’t worry if a teapot is stained inside with years of tea. A bit of cola left to soak for a few hours will bring that stainless-steel teapot up shining like brand new!! 
Head to a stall that’s run by a ‘families.  Mum, Dad and a few kids in toe. It’s a stall that’s a mix of random items. Steer clear of the children’s section – those discarded, unused plastic toys. The ones they got bored of! The hint is there, they got bored of them!! Step away from the traders’ stall, these are heavily priced and you won’t come away with a bargain.

For today’s first challenge, we are looking for shiny stuff! Anything that catches the light. Our first treasure adventure is to salvage, rescue and find all things stainless steel!!

Once you have your eye open for just ONE type of resource – you’ll focus on finding these treasures, they will soon start jumping out at you & you’ll even spot them from a few stalls along.

So, let’s start at the beginning; once you’ve mastered the art of spotting one type of treasure you can advance onto the next level and keep your eyes peeled for other wondrous beauties that lie unloved and uncherished waiting for a whole new adventure in the hands of our little learners.


Treasure awaits! Look out for:-

Milk jugs

Sugar bowls

Baking trays

Muffin trays

Sieves / Colanders

Serving dishes

Baltic dishes

Catering utensils



Potato masher


Cake racks

Ice cream dishes




Mug trees

Tea strainer


Tea bag tweezers


Baking tins

Decorative dishes Plates

Napkin rings

Serving spoons Bowls


Jewellery tree stands


Dearest fellow, Curiosity Approach treasure hunters, remember your bags to carry your loot in. Your gold & silver coins to purchase oodles of treasure.

Build rapport with the seller, explain what you’re looking for and why you want it. The older generation loves to think that their stainless-steel teapot will be lovingly played with by children. Trust me, they’ll give you a better deal and also find you items, you hadn’t spotted.

Be confident! Ask for a discount! For example, if items are 50p each and you’ve found 3 pieces you’ve got your eye on – ask “Can I have 3 for £1.00?” PLEASE

Most importantly – go on an adventure, this isn’t meant to be a chore, it’s fun! Have your children at the forefront of your mind, remember WHY you’re purchasing these items. Think about the amazing play spaces you’ll create and the incredible opportunities for learning.

Be curious, have fun, make a difference!