I've had this green basket forever. In the past, it's been used to hold toys and sometimes hold nothing. But, it's main purpose was to get in my way. While staring at it one day, it occurred to me that I could use it as a theme basket. Our first theme basket was bugs. It was full of books, coloring pages, small games and a magnifying glass. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of it. After we were done with that, we turned it into a Hawaii basket. Lizzie has been fascinated by Hawaii lately, so I thought it would be fun to explore that theme. I found several books at the library.
I also added several activities they could grab and play with whenever they felt like it. I added a flower lei, a map of Hawaii (found via Google images). I printed out a large picture of a sea turtle, then cut it into pieces to make a puzzle. I took unlined index cards and turned them into color-your-own postcards. I drew a picture on the front and added the address lines and small square stickers for stamps on the back. We had a shell matching game that came from the back of one of Lizzie's old High Five magazines. Finally, I found some Hawaii-related clip art, enlarged it so it took up half a sheet of paper, then printed them out. I used contact paper to reinforce them, then punched holes around the edges. Voila, homemade lacing cards! I also added binoculars and a file folder with several Hawaii coloring pages (not pictured).
We had fun with it while we had it. The girls especially love the shell match game.
Before retiring the basket, we had a couple of days devoted to Hawaii. We packed our bags for a virtual trip, watched several YouTube videos of hula dancing, which inspired a bit of hula dancing ourselves. We also did the classic vinegar and baking soda science experiment to see how a volcano erupted.