If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I really enjoy engaging my kids in sensory play activities. Indeed, over time I have created a number of themed sensory bins for my kids to enjoy and explore.
When my kids were 2- and 3-years-old, sensory bins would keep them engaged for at least an hour. QBoy is now 4.75 and XGirl is now 4.5. (Yes, they are virtual twins born just months apart. 🙂 You can read more about our unique family on my my about me page.) As my kids have gotten a bit older, they still enjoy my sensory bins, although they don’t seem to play with them for quite as long as they used to.
Nonetheless, when Sarah from Little Bins For Little Hands recently asked several kid bloggers to take on a rice sensory bin challenge with her, I was game to try it out.
Note: You can find more sensory bins and other sensory play activities on my sensory play page.
The Rice Sensory Bin Challenge was this:
- Put out a bin containing nothing but plain, uncooked rice for your kids to play with.
- Observe what your kids choose to do with it.
- Offer assistance if requested, but do not try to influence or direct how children play with the bin.
Here is how the challenge went down in our family. 🙂
The night before, I laid out a large sheet in our living room to contain any mess. (Because, let’s face it, there’s ALWAYS mess and I’d rather not have to pick rice out of my carpet.) I then placed a bin of plain, uncooked white rice in the middle. Upon waking the next morning, my kids noticed the bin right away. However, I told them they would have to eat breakfast and get dressed before playing.
When they were ready to play, both kids excitedly went over to the bin and stuck their hands in. Not two seconds later, my son asked me “What’s in it?”
“Rice,” I answered.
“And what else?” he asked.
“Just rice,” I answered. Clearly my kids know my M.O. is to make fancy bins with all sorts of fun stuff for them to find, and they were wondering why this bin was so lacking in comparison. 🙂
My son asked if he could put something in, and I said, “Sure!”
“What can we put in?” he asked.
“What would you like to put in?” I replied.
So he went over to his play kitchen and grabbed a wooden spoon to use.
A few seconds later, his sister joined him with a slotted wooden spoon and a toy blender, also from their play kitchen. They began stirring and scooping the rice.
But this just wasn’t exciting enough for QBoy, who really wanted some objects in the bin. So he filled one of his kitchen pots with leftover leprechaun gold and dumped it into the bin.
This made for quite a nice little “soup.” The kids spent some time pretending that they were cooking.
XGirl then decided to fill up her toy blender in order to make a “smoothie.”
The kids continued playing like this for quite some time, with virtually all of the play being food-related. They made me smoothies, cooked me soup, and added more food items to the bin to play with.
Altogether, the kids stayed engaged with this bin for about 35 minutes or so. I really enjoyed seeing the creativity they brought to the activity. What started out as a bin of plain rice was anything but plain by the time they were through!
Would you like to see how other bloggers fared with this rice sensory bin challenge? Each of the blogs below is sharing their own spin on this activity. See how it went for each of them!