Have you ever created a sensory bin for your kids? Sensory bins are AWESOME for development and they keep littles happy and busy for a looooong time!
To get started you will need a big shallow plastic tub, I like to use a 25 quart size especially because that leaves room for all three of my kids to reach in and play. I think sensory bins are primarily for toddlers and preschoolers but even my 6 year old loves to check them out. Try to use a bin with a lid so you can save it and play with it over and over.
Next up rice! Do you have some old rice sitting in your pantry. I had a big bag of brown rice in the pantry not being eaten. Brown rice is healthier than white rice but not so yummy, leading to it just sitting there. So either find some rice in your pantry or grab some at the store for a couple bucks.
Colored Rice Recipe:
1 Cup Rice
2-3 Drops Food Coloring
1 Tsp Vinegar
Measure 1 cup of rice and pour it into a ziplock bag. Next add a few drops of the food coloring of your choice. Add a teaspoon of vinegar. DON’T SKIP THE VINEGAR! The vinegar will help the color to set and keep it from getting on your hands! Seal your bag. Let your toddler shake the bag until the color and vinegar is mixed in. Test it with your hands and make sure the vinegar has bonded to the rice and held the color in, if you get color on your hands keep shaking. Repeat the process for as many colors as you would like!
The colored rice really is that easy and it will be ready to play with right away. So grab your plastic bin and pour the rice in. Throw in some plastic cups and measuring spoons and you are all set.
If this is your child’s first time using a sensory bin you should sit with him and show him how you explore the bin and keep the rice in the bin. Be aware that NOT ALL THE RICE WILL STAY IN THE BIN. Make sure you set up your bin in a spot that’s easy to clean. For me that’s the kitchen floor. You could also lay out a sheet or towel under the bin for easy clean up. If your toddler likes to explore with his mouth be sure to watch him and be careful selecting sensory bin fillers that he won’t choke on.
For more ideas of fun things to do with your toddler check out 100 Toddler Activities.