I’ve been researching sensory play ideas like mad lately. My almost 2 year old is one curious fellow and I’m trying to keep up with his busy-ness without having to resort to the iPad whenever I need to get something done. Thankfully my friend Asia knows this topic well and wrote a book about it: 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities from FunAtHomeWithKids.com! Did she know how badly we needed this? If you haven’t seen it yet you must order yourself a copy, like now. Right here.
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150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids has saved me from losing my mind quite a few times now. Moonsand did the trick recently, my son scooped it into bowls for a good 20 minutes while I finished cooking dinner and we avoided a major meltdown. But that’s not the main reason you should buy the book, you should buy it because sensory play and simple at home art activities are wonderful opportunities to engage young imaginations and allow kids to explore things like they do best, through touch, smell, and even taste.
Asia Citro from Fun At Home With Kids makes it so easy too. Her book will literally take you by the hand and break down how to get started with sensory play in a couple easy steps. And what I love most is that her activities are easy to throw together at a moments notice and many of them use items you probably already have on hand. Like the activity I’m featuring here today: Colored Rice.
Sensory Play Ideas: Confetti Rice
After my 5-year-old daughter and I dog-eared many a page, we chose to make colored rice AKA Confetti Rice for one of our first projects from the book. We love color around our house and since my son loves scooping I knew it would be a hit. We followed the book’s instructions on how to color rice and made a rainbow batch.
- Confetti Rice
- Bowls (using white will really make the color pop)
- Spoons, scoops, silicone baking molds, funnels, etc.
Place everything on a large table or tarp and let the kids have at it. Be forewarned that the colors won’t stay pure for long. It’s impossible to resist not dumping them all together! I recommend doing this activity outside (weather permitting); the rice will be happily spilled and scooped and pretty much make it’s way all over the floor or ground, so doing the activity outside will make for easy clean up and resident birds may even thank you!
- Writing practice Use the negative space to write words in the rice; this was perfect for my kindergartner.
- Mosaic Art Before the colors get completely mixed, use handfuls of them to make colorful ephemeral art.
- Pretend Cooking My kids love to pretend they are in the kitchen so I brought out a few of our silicone baking trays so they could “bake” with the rice.
If you are curious about the types of activities in 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids here’s more of what you will find:
- Small Worlds
- Simple Sensory Ideas
- DIY Toys
I also love the way author Asia Citro talks about natural alternatives to many materials (you won’t believe the amazing ingredient she uses to make things glow) and her ideas for making things taste safe so even babies can get started with sensory play.
Time to free your kids from the iPad and get them excited about play through simple, colorful, and engaging activities you can set-up quickly at home. 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities from FunAtHomeWithKids.com will leave you charged and ready!
Where to Buy
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I love the colours that you’ve used! The rice looks great!
The kids in my group love playing with confetti rice. We have a vocabulary game that we often play: I hide some flashcards in our rice tray and they have to find them and take them out using tweezers. Then they name the object that’s on the flashcard: http://ilincasadoveanu.wix.com/grumpydumpling#!Colours-Colours-Everywhere/c14e/760F0684-B7C8-493C-8543-105C902C229F.
Ana Dziengel says
What a great idea!
Alex F says
I LOVE this idea, and my younger students will LOVE it too!! However, rice is bad for birds, it will expand in their stomachs, and can cause death. For anyone doing this activity outside, please lay out a sheet or tarp to catch the fallen pieces!!
Ana Dziengel says
Hi Alex, Thanks for the heads up but I believe this has been proven to be a rumor. Here’s a great article on it 🙂 http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/birdrice.asp