Sunday, 8 June 2014
Wooden letters and coloured rice sensory tub
I often put together sensory play tubs for the kids to explore. For this one I used some coloured rice which we made about 6 months ago. We keep it in a plastic container and the children love to play with it. They often use spoons to scoop it up and pour it into bowls. This time I decided to add some petals and some wooden letters to encourage literacy development.
Coloured rice is not difficult to make. All you need is a bag of rice and some food colouring. Put both ingredients in a zip lock bag and mix until all the rice has been coated with the food colouring. Then, thinly spread the rice on a tray and leave to dry overnight. Store in an airtight container and it will keep for months, perhaps even years! We have been using ours for at least 6 months now.
I gave the children some kids size kitchen utensils to use and also our favourite Learning Resources Sorting Bowls (Set of 6). The children practiced their fine motor skills using the utensils to scoop and pour and the tweezers to pick up the objects. These actions are performed by using the vital pincer grip movement, a skill which develops between the ages of 9-12 months and is crucial for skills such as feeding oneself, holding a pencil and fastening closures on clothes and shoes.
The children began to separate all the different items, placing the petals together and pouring the rice into the sorting bowls. The letters got scattered all over the floor and did not end up being sorted by colour into the different bowls, which is what I had intended, but that's fine. With an activity like this, I like to let the children play the way they want without too many interruptions or suggestions from me. So, I set up the activity, invite them to play and sit back and watch the mess (it usually get's quite messy) occur!