Lately, C has taken a bigger interest in carrying, dumping, and filling things. Coupled with his sloooowly expanding attention span, I set out to find new activities for him. I had seen the rainbow rice sensory box on Pinterest several times, but it was one of those "Ooh, I'll do this....one day" projects. A friend of mine posted pictures of her son playing in his new rice box and he looked so happy and content playing, it gave me the motivation to finally put one together.
To make the rice box, I bought...
2' x 1' flat storage box with a snap on lid (the kind that the handles flip up to lock the lid)
20 lb. bag of white rice
Bottle of rubbing alcohol
Neon gel food coloring
For each color, I put 4-5 cups of rice in a big bowl, 2 tbs. of rubbing alcohol, and eye balled the food coloring until I liked the color. I used a rubber spatula to fold the rice over and over until it was thoroughly coated and I didn't see anymore gobs of color gel.
|The drying operation|
I ended up with six colors in pretty rows (which will last about 10 seconds once C gets to it. Add a few scoops, cups, and toys and its set! From what I've read about sensory play, the important part is to let the child explore the set up themselves without a parent showing them the "correct" way to play. If they just want to run their hands through the rice instead of using the scoops - that's okay!
Unfortunately, C went to bed before all the rice dried and he could play with it. I'm sure he'll get into it tomorrow.
If you're interested in fun projects and sensory play ideas like this, I highly recommend Play at Home Mom LLC. I spent at least an hour and a half going through her site yesterday and for once, actually felt like I could do fun and different activities with C despite being a working Mom. You know what I'm talking about - I doubt I'm the only one with stay at home Mom blog envy. I only get a few hours a day with him and its easy to feel like those hours are wasted with the same rushing around. The more activities we can do together, the better!