Hi friends! A lot of my posts lately have been focused on early childhood and how we can foster this education as parents and teachers. It’s been my focus simply because it’s my daily life right now. I spend the majority of my day fostering the learning of a one-year-old and a three-year-old, so naturally, it’s where my thoughts have been centered.
Because I have been throwing this content at you so much, I felt like it needed a place where it’s all corralled for you for easier searching. Lo and behold! My early childhood page!
Featured on the page are sensory bin lists, tips, and recipes. Some thoughts on raising independent kids. Really great articles on PLAY. And bonus material on emotions in kids and using Myers- Briggs and Enneagram to understand your child better.
This list and page will be ever growing as I continue to create new content in this scope of ideas, so check back later for more articles. You can find this new page on our top banner under “blog”.
Did you catch my post a few weeks ago on how to find success with dyed rice sensory bins? This post will give you tips on rice sensory bins, as well as our favorite tools for rice play. Today, I wanted to share how to make the dyed rice! Here’s my tried and true recipe plus some tips! This rice is taste-safe but does not mean it should be eaten by the handful.
1 cup dry rice 1 tablespoon vinegar Lots of food coloring! Liquid or Gel Sandwich bags Sheet pan Wax paper/ parchment paper/ tin foil (optional but nice to have)
Place the rice and vinegar in a plastic sandwich bag. Squirt in lots of food coloring. The more food coloring, the deeper and better the color will turn out.
Shake the bag until the coloring is evenly spread through the rice!
Spread the rice on a sheet pan to dry. I like to cover my pan with parchment paper (or something similar) to keep the pan cleaner. If this isn’t possible, it’s fine to place the rice directly on the pan. In my experience, it has always washed off with a little soap and water
*The thinner you spread the rice, the faster it will dry.
*For an even faster dry time, put in the oven on the lowest setting. If it’s a sunny day, place outside to dry.
After about 30 minutes, you will have to break up chunks of rice that stick together.
The rice is dry once you can run your fingers through it and it doesn’t leave a residue of color on your fingers.
Use the 1:1 ratio for rice and vinegar. You can do 2 cups of rice, 2 Tbs vinegar, and so on…
The sandwich bag is a great way for kids to get involved in making the rice, they do great at mixing up the color into the rice!
HOWEVER, we’ve had our fair share of little fingers puncture the ziplock bag, sending rice everywhere and food coloring places you don’t want. Teach your kids to mix the bag with flat hands and rub, like this!
If you’re looking to use less plastic, a glass bowl and spoon work great to mix as well. Make sure to rinse and dry the bowl and spoon before starting another color so you don’t mix colors.
Store in a gallon Ziploc bag or tupperware container.
The rice smells strongly of vinegar for a time. Leave the baggie or container open all day or through the night to get rid of the smell before sealing and storing. Once the vinegar smell goes away, I have never found the strong smell to come back.
The rice can last for years and years stored in an airtight container!
To all of the educators out there teaching in early childhood- the daycare workers, the preschool and kindergarten teachers, even up into first and second grade, this post is for you. First, to salute you for your noble work. Teaching littles can be difficult, emotions run high and logic doesn’t always seem to follow. But at the end of the day, we all know the work we are doing is worth it for those little brains to learn and grow.
Here’s a tool for my fellow sensory bin lovers, something I’ve searched the internet, Pinterest, and Instagram for a few years now, and I am ready to share my findings with you. My best list of sensory bin fillers!
Good old fashioned rice- Fairly common, but always a hit. Dye the rice fun colors for an added twist.
Shaving cream or
Whipped cream- make sure your students know which one is edible!
Cardboard pieces cut up smaller
Water with scoops and cups
Foam packing peanuts
Cotton balls as pretend snow
A big bucket of snow! What’s more fun than snow indoors for littles?
Dried corn for those fall months
Straw or hay
Fake grass (usually made for Easter baskets)
Sand or moon sand
If you’re feeling like you’re ready for a really messy day- Dirt!
Flower petals/ flowers- either real or fake
The possibilities are endless! We have had so many successes and failures in our sensory bin activities. Some I find are not interesting right away, but left out can facilitate great play. This list is just a start to items you can find in a sensory table, but my hope is that it can get your gears turning for some fun, imaginative play for littles.
What are some of your go-to sensory bin activities? What has worked for you in the past? Is there something new on this list that you are going to try in your classroom?
A child’s play is not simply a reproduction of what he has experienced, but a creative reworking of the impressions he has aquired.