Ever find that despite your home being over run with store bought toys, it is the household items that the kids want to play with? The pots and pans, a ball of string, a cardboard box, the wooden spoons? Well put the toys away, open up the pantry and you will unearth a tresure trove of play opportunities! Behind that can of three bean mix, I bet you will discover……
Colour me happy. Uncolored rice naturally works as well as coloured rice for any of these activities but coloured rice is way more fun! Simply place the quantity of rice you want into a zip lock bag. Place a few drops of food colouring and a few squirts of hand sanitizer into the bag and shake! Lay the rice out on a tray to dry in the sun! The hand sanitizer (alcohol) helps the colour to set! Kids love helping to shake the begs but unless you want a “rice shower” make sure they are securely closed first!
Shake it baby! Make a maraka. No childhood is complete without a bottle filled with rice for shaking! Try different sizes and shapes of bottles to create your own shaking band! Just don’t forget to secure the lid!
Sensory Play. Forget the sand pit, exploring in rice is a sensory adventure. Fill a large storage container with rice and then add
- Gardening tools, shovels, buckets gloves, flowers for some gardening role play without the dirt. (Check out this amazing sensory rice garden below from shareandremember.blogspot.com)
- Small toys burried underneath the rice for some fine motor exploration and seeking!
- Funnels, bowls, jugs, spoons and cups for some role play cooking or just pouring mixing
Don’t cook it!!!! Play with it!! Pasta comes in more shapes and sizes than you can imagine!
Wear it. Who hasn’t made a pasta necklace at some time in their childhood! Spice it up and use a few different types of pasta. Children could make a pattern (a valuable maths skill) on their necklace by alternating colours or types of pasta. Threading is an amazing fine motor skill. Little ones can thread using penne and older children the smaller macaroni!
Sort it. Mix up a whole assortment of pasta and ask the kids to sort it! A muffin tray makes a great sorter with children being able to place
Count it. Large pasta makes great counters! Write some numbers on disposable cups. Ask your child to place the same number pieces of pasta in each cup!
Before you go running in the other direction. Food colouring doesn’t have to be messy. This is a great activity for children 2years and over. If you are really worried invest in some rubber gloves!
Paper towel art. Water down some food colouring in a clear plastic cup. Don’t dilute it too much you want the colour to be strong. Using an eyedropper, drop a drop of the coloured water onto some papertowel. The colour spreads to create a gorgeous coloured effect! Drop a different colour close by and you will see the colours mix!
Oil and water. Mix some food colouring into some oil. Fill a kiity litter tray with about 5cms o water. Using the eyedropper again drop a drop of your coloured water onto the water. Do this with a few different colours. Now gently place a piece of paper on top of the water for a second and lift it off. The colour in the water transfers to the paper! If you want to really get fancy, swirl the colour in the water with a comb! This is one of my classes favourite art activities!
So forget the “educational” toys this week, go for a search in the pantry and uncover a recipe for fun and learning just waiting to be discovered.