Flowers and Fairies Sensory Tub

Pin ItI have a slightly fairy-obsessed nearly 3 year old in the house at the moment, and all she can talk about is her flower fairy party which is coming up soon! So I put together a very simple and easy flowers and fairies sensory tub to satisfy her pink-cravings in the mean time!

I dyed a two small bags of cheap rice using pink food colouring, by laying it out on two baking sheets and mixing the colour in with a fork. We then left it for one day to dry thoroughly.

Into a shallow, wide storage box, (thankfully bright pink in colour!) I tipped all of the pink rice and mixed in a few cups of plain white rice too.

Then we added a small bag of red and pink mixed sequins and a few handfuls of fabric flower petals.

We had a few toy fairies who were added to their new home, as well as some trees, scoops, spoons and cups. And off they set!

Pop decided it was much better just to get straight in it and then spent ages pouring rice through her fingers and transferring to another container then back in again. Cakie made up little stories about her fairies eating and sleeping in “fairy land” and loved searching through the rice for “treasures” in the sequins. This box has got a lid so when they were finished playing we pushed it under the table for another day.

Learning Links:

  • sensory: exploring a range of textures and materials with hands (and feet!)¬†
  • fine motor: scooping, pouring, pincer grip to pick up individual pieces of rice, mixing¬†
  • creative: make up stories and role play scenarios using toys and imagination
  • literacy: develop language, vocabulary and storytelling skills
  • maths: count out scoops/petals/rice/sequins, explore capacity through filling and emptying
  • phse: work collaboratively and share resources
Cakie: 35 months
Pop: 17 months


  1. says

    My two would LOVE this! Anything pink and fairyish is a hit here, too. And I just noticed how much hair little Pop has these days! My Sweet Pea barely has a third of Pop’s. We’re also planning a fairy party for Princess Pea’s next birthday.

  2. Gill says

    Hi Anna,

    I’ve just been reading some of your older posts. My daughter is also about to turn three & is birthday obsessed so I was grinning at your birthday role play post.

    We have been reading Katie Morag’s Birthdays – I think you’ll enjoy it. The Katie Morag books (Mairi Hedderwick) are fantastic. They are maybe aimed at slightly older children but I think there is so much to enjoy in them for all ages. The pictures are beautifully detailed which makes for great discussions. Katie Morag & The Two Grandmothers is a good one to get started with.

    I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for all the great ideas, my children & I have been having a lot of fun.

  3. says

    Gill, thank you for that book recommendation! You know how much I love picture books. I absolutely LOVE Katy Morag and we used to use the books a lot while teaching. But I don’t know the birthday one, so that is going into the Amazon basket, thank you!

  4. says

    Thanks for posting such wonderful ideas on your blog.

    Quick question: what do you do with the sensory bin contents when they are done with it or you are going to make another? I’m racking my brain trying to think of a use for the rice with sequence… maybe a craft with a glue design and then shake the paper in the bin to pick up some pieces and make a design? There would still be a lot left over.


  5. says

    Hi Inspired Mama! Thanks for the lovely comment! Rice is GREAT for making percussion instruments with. I am actualy going to post about a shaker we made with rice this week. It’s also great in a homemade rainstick (search for my tutorial in the search box!) and you need to use a lot.
    I keep a large plastic tub of left over sensory play materials to reuse in the future so that it’s not so wasteful. In the tub at the moment are lentils, dried beans, dry pasta and a ziploc of rice! If you look at some of my Discovery Box and Small World Play ideas there are lots of ways that I’ve used these things in the past.
    I also like your glue and rice art idea- pretty!
    Hope that helps :-)