I’m not into messes. Seriously. (I whipped out the vacuum as soon as this activity was done.) But I understand how important it is that Becca interact with a variety of textures for the proper development of her senses. And she loves sensory play. So, I made some colored rice (here’s a link over to the recipe I got from Play at Home Mom – I used about 10-15 drops of regular food coloring with the vinegar) and decided to make a tray activity for her. Live and learn – it needed to be in a MUCH larger container, and we needed to have just spread the entire plastic tablecloth out on the floor so that cleanup would be easier, and we wouldn’t waste so much rice. Now we know for next time! But, she did have a blast! Here’s the scene I set up for her using little toys she already had:
She was SO excited and immediately dug in and started playing.
Then, she got tired of the toys and set them all out and just dug her hands into the rice.
For one last fun activity before putting it away for a few days (I’ve learned that she enjoys things once and then for maximum potency, it needs to get put away for a while or she gets bored with it really quick!), I got out some cups and she loved pouring the rice back and forth!
Total Prep Time for Mommy: This one takes some forethought – which is partly why it took me so long to do it even after I had bought the rice. You’ll need to color the rice and then let it dry over night. The coloring process to do a large bag of rice and four different colors and then to spread out to dry took me maybe about 15-20 mins. Then in the morning, it was another 5-10 minutes to slide all the rice off of the wax paper into storage bags. Then to gather the toys and set up the tray took about another 20 minutes. So this isn’t a project that you’re going to just throw together in two minutes. Also note that I spent probably about another 10-20 minutes running the vacuum afterward… and ended up doing most of the hard woods downstairs simply because I had already started…
Total Play Time for Becca: This one singular occasion, she played with the rice for about 30-40 minutes (well supervised), and then it went back into the storage bag and she can play with it many, many more times.