Don’t you just love how it feels to dip your fingers in a bin of rice?! My hands feel as though they are saying “ahhh.” While playing in rice and other sensory items feels great, it is also so important! Little ones especially need it, and it is incredibly beneficial for them to have daily sensory experiences. This doesn’t have to be fancy or involve 10-30 minutes to prepare. While colored rice or small world sensory play is fun and exciting, I have found that it’s the simple and often instantaneous activities that we love the most.
Today I’m sharing a rice challenge that I participated in with some other great bloggers. Here were the rules: no colored rice and all of the items had to be chosen by the kids. This is right up my alley because it was both simple and child led. Let’s take a look at what they added to the sensory bin:
A colander — They jumped right in to filling it up with rice and digging it back out. I love their excitement as the rice grew higher and higher. During this part they were naturally expanding their knowledge about quantity as well as cause and effect.
Next, they added some unifix cubes and Melissa and Doug animal magnets. The unifix cubes became containers to feed the animals. These playful moments showed their understanding of nature and their emerging ability to take care of it and respect it. Not to mention the awesome ingenuity of the colorful cubed feeding trouphs.
Lastly, they added some rocks. There was definitely some engineering and building going on with these as they figured out how to stack the rocks in the rice. I just loved that they even thought of the rocks because I’ve definitely never thought of adding rocks to a sensory table. These rocks were especially smooth, so it added an extra element to the entire sensory experience.
In case you were wondering, there were four kiddos playing in this sensory bin together. They all took turns with the different items, and it was a reasonably peaceful experience. I am always impressed when a group of little ones can figure out how to listen to one another and respect the ideas that each one has, especially in such a small space.
Despite my love/hate relationship with rice — love for the activity, hate for the mess –it is always a worthwhile experience. Actually, after this round of rice play, I’m going to save it exclusively for outside play!!! The little bit of rice that made it onto the floor felt as though it was a flood!
Here are the sensory bins of these great blogs that I encourage you to take a peek at: