Golden Cinnamon Sensory Tub!

Create an aromatic, golden sensory tub filled with golden, cinnamon scented rice for a truly multi-sensory play time with kids!

It’s fast approaching that most wonderful time of year again! This time last year we dyed some rice green and scented it with peppermint oil to create a perfectly Christmassy sensory tub, filled with all sorts of sparkly decorations and fun things to play and explore with.

This year for our Christmas sensory tub we have dyed our rice with yellow colouring and added golden glitter and cinnamon for a really evocative, seasonal playtime. The whole house smells wonderful and with the addition of a few glittering extras it has become a real feast for the eyes as well!

christmas cinnamon rice sensory tub http://theimaginationtree.com

Here’s how we made our golden cinnamon sensory rice:

  • Simply tip one bag of economy rice (around 40p) into a deep baking tray and squeeze liquid yellow food colouring over the top. Stir the colour through with a fork until it is evenly coated, then leave it to dry. It doesn’t take more than a hour or so and I’ve found it works perfectly well without adding alcohol hand sanitiser, and also remains safer if accidentally put into the mouth.
  • Once dry, sprinkle cinnamon all over the rice and stir it through, then invite your child to add plenty of gold glitter to make it sparkle!
  • Add in anything gold and shiny that you can find to really bring the tray to life! We added gold star Christmas tree decorations, glittery gold pinecones, gold bead strings, gold treasure coins, gold ribbon, golden eggs, gold wicker balls and the all-important scoops and spoons.


The girls were really amazed at the sparkliness of this sensory tub and absolutely loved playing with the rice, scooping, tipping and transporting it between containers. Cakie found a way to turn one of the pine cones into a little Christmas tree and decorated it with bead strings and the hanging stars.

This is also the perfect sensory tub to create along with the ever-popular nursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! This has been Pop’s favourite ever since she was a tiny baby and she automatically began to sing while she played.

What they are learning while they play:
sensory: investigating materials using all of the senses
literacy: using new language to describe how things feel, look and smell , storytelling through play
maths: counting out scoops and cups, comparing quantities e.g. full and empty
fine motor skills: balancing, transporting, scooping
creative: singing familiar songs and rhymes, imaginative play

Cakie: 4.2
Pop: 2.8
Bean: 9 mos

You may also like:
Christmas Sensory Tub
Flowers and Fairies Sensory Tub
Lunar Lanscape
Hedgehog Hibernation Basket
Patriotic Sensory Tub
Baking Sensory Tub


Have you made a sensory tub? Tell us about what you put in yours!

7 comments to Golden Cinnamon Sensory Tub!

  • Katelyn

    I have a tub of beans (differing kinds so all different colors) that I’ve tried using with my now 28 month old since he was about 16 months. To this day, he starts out playing in them okay with some measuring spoons and a funnel, but within a few minutes they are all dumped out scattered all over the room and sometimes even thrown by the handful. I have to sit right next to him and referee to keep them from being spread throughout the house and even then they make quite a mess. How do you keep your girls actually playing with them and not throwing them across the room? Do you stand right there over them? I will add that throwing seems to be a big thing with him that we’ve been working on (cannot throw the train, but you can throw the puff balls.) I know he enjoys playing with the bean tub but I dislike spending the next week picking them up from everywhere.

    • How funny! I was JUST getting ready to ask the same question! “How do you contain the mess?” I tried a rice bin once with my 13 month old. I even put her on a blanket so I could ‘more’ easily clean up. Still, such a HUGE mess. We do beans now, but they are not as fun!!!

  • We will have to try this – tomorrow I will have my girls gather up all their little gold treasures around the house. Thanks.

  • Love this!I’d never have thought of adding cinnamon but I definitely will do that when I make ours next week. I’m going for a red one with gold glitter.

  • Sensory tables are great and so many different things can go in them. For Christmas we put tinsel http://www.brennaphillips.com/t-is-for-tinsel-in-the-sensory-table

  • Oh my, this looks fun! I love how it engages all 5 senses! Spectacular and so perfect for the holidays!

  • What an awesome sensory tub, Anna! I featured your post and photo in my 40+ Christmas Sensory Tubs post at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/12/17/montessori-monday-40-plus-christmas-sensory-tubs/