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The Learning Basket

For training parents to educate their preschoolers

In February 2022 practitioners of the Learning Basket and friends gathered on three Zoom calls to learn about the origins of the Learning Basket and what is presently going on with the program in Guatemala, India and southwest United States.  In the first session Elise Packard, the original creator of the Learning Basket program, shared the background values and curriculum of the program. The second and third sessions included programs from these three geographies. In the second and third session practitioners of the program in India, Latin America and Southwest United States share what they are doing and what they have learned.



K. Elise Packard


Angelica Rodriguez

Joaquina Rodriguez


Bhimrao Tupe

Mary D’Souza

The Learning Basket enables parents and caregivers to nurture learning with infants and toddlers through play.  This Training Brochure gives some information on the Learning Basket. Elise Packard has written about the effects of the Learning Basket in her dissertation, Project Demonstrating Excellence.  Helen Heal wrote A Summary Review of Learning Basket Program 1997-2005 and Learning Basket in Mexico 2002-2005. 


The Aditi Learning Centre in Pune, India, reaches out to rural young women, providing them with a safe and caring environment in which to complete their high-school education.  The Potali program of the Aditi Learning Centre and an 2022 update – helps parents of children aged 0 to 3 years. More than one thousand families have taken part since the program began in 2012. Eight two-member teams of practitioners work with 14 to 20 families for three months, exposing them to twelve distinct aspects of child care. The program’s impact is seen in the children’s improved diet, in family paradigms that now value the girl child, in helping parents stop physical disciplining of children, and in parents singing songs and reading stories with their children and allowing children to play with other children in the neighbourhood. Bhimrao Tupe shares his learning on this program in his Masters Thesis “A Study of Parenting Education (2020).


A network of 17 ”books-in-a-box” library. Using the network of eight Potali staff, six Aditi teachers and three students in Pune, India, one thousand books for children and parents have been curated and distributed to 17 locations. While the program only began in February 2018, early reports indicate that children and parents are enthusiastic about the opportunity to read books. The system for stocking and exchanging the books is simple: take a few books and exchange them whenever they wish to.


Joaquina Rodriguez reported on the Learning Basket in Guatemala in the October 2018 Wind and Waves: “Social Dramas, Enchiladas, Toys and gardens: The Learning Basket Program Supports Rural Guatemalan Parents”.