Monday, 9 February 2015

Sensational Sensory Rice

I was looking for educational activities that would be fun and stimulating for both little ones. This is sometimes a bit difficult as Squish still tends to put things in his mouth, so I required something that was non-toxic and not too much of a choking hazard (under supervision). When I came across the idea of sensory rice, I thought this would be perfect.

Making the rice was fairly simple and I got Noodle to help me with this part. I used about a cup of rice (the cheapest house brand variant I could find rather than the Basmati rice which I typically use for cooking), split it into three Ziploc bags and added about a teaspoon of vinegar and a gloop of gel food colouring to each. I am sure any food colouring will work- I just had gel colour available and quite like the vibrant colours it produces. Noodle selected violet, orange and lime green. It had a bit of a peculiar vinegar smell, so I added different food essences to each one (granadilla, orange and peppermint to the corresponding colours). We gave each a good shake and left it to dry for a couple of hours. Voila, ready to use.

Some things I have used the rice or plan to use it for:
  • Sensory play- letting them feel it, smell it, transfer from one recycled container to another, sift through a funnel, raking with a fork etc;
  • Putting into sealed containers as shakers for Squish;
  • Colour sorting;
  • Adding and subtracting activities with Noodle;
  • Transferring grains with tongs (for Noodle);
  • Using it for art activities (pasting on cardboard, arrange into shapes etc). 
Note: We played with this outdoors on a large plastic tablecloth to minimise the hassle of cleaning up afterwards. The rice is perfectly re-usable and should last indefinitely if stored in a sealed container. 
Children raking the sensory rice with a fork
Rice 'cupcake'
Rainbow rice 'cupcakes'
After the first use, the colours all got jumbled together to form a beautiful rainbow of colour. Noodle used the mini ice trays to make 'cupcakes' out of the rice.