If you’ve been a reader of this blog or a follower of my Facebook page for the past year you will know that we often post about quick play prompt ideas called Invitations to Play, which take just a few moments to set up and use simple resources form around the home. These can be real sanity savers for busy parents and are great for encouraging free, independent play at busy times of day.
On a recent hot day I popped a large bag of dyed blue rice into the freezer and pulled it out at crazy-O’clock (aka just before the kids’ dinner time!) I simply tipped it into a large baking tray and added some blue glass pebbles, toy fish, shells and driftwood, with a sprinkling of silver glitter over the top. Then I placed it out on a table for them to find, with some small scoops and cups nearby for transferring and pouring the rice.
I kept an eye on baby Bean so that she couldn’t reach the tray (I let her play with a modified version later, without the glass gems and while watching her closely with the rice.) The big girls loved the tray and were really surprised when they first dipped their hands into the cold rice! It made for an exciting added sensory aspect, but it wasn’t too long before it warmed up again in the heat. Once they’d finished with it we tipped it back into a large storage jar and will keep it in the cupboard until next time.
To read how to make coloured rice read this flower fairy sensory tub post with the simple directions.
What they are learning as they play:
sensory: exploring the world using all the sense, comparing cold and hot, pouring and scooping, digging, listening to sounds
science: understanding where animals live, talking about habitats, looking at shells
Bean: 16 mos
Search for more inspiration with these other Invitations to Play!
See our other Sensory Tubs here!