Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sensory Play

Trains after story time this morning!
As a preschool teacher, I was required to have sensory play available to all of my students. There had to be wet and dry options inside and out at all times (except no water outside during winter months). Over the years I had a lot of fun with what activities I offered and built up a collection of ideas that I have had tucked away since I stopped teaching. I have been patiently waiting for the time when I get to start using all of my old school ideas and supplies with Ayden. I had to wait until he stopped eating EVERYTHING and started listening (a little). The time has come and it is so much fun!!!!

Something about sensorial activities puts children in the zone. They become mesmerized, relaxed and they stay engaged for a very long time. As you can probably tell, Ayden has played in the dirt many times since our move to the farm. It definitely counts as sensory play (I actually used to put dirt, gardening gloves/tools, flower pots, plastic insects and artificial flowers in my sensory table at school during my Spring unit). He also has plenty of water play during bath time, when he spills some water on his high chair tray and when he gets to a wet water dish. Today, though, he got to get his hands in colored rice.

I actually made the colored rice for something that is going to be in Ayden's Easter basket (to be featured in tomorrow's post), but I had some left over so we put it to use!  If you've never had your hands in dry rice you should go to your pantry right now, dump some rice into a bowl and try it. It is difficult to describe but it feels cool to the touch and picking up handfuls and slowly dropping them is so relaxing. White and colored rice feel the same but the colors obviously add another dimension to the full sensory experience. Coloring rice may seem time consuming or messy but it is actually easy and relatively quick. All you need is some rice, rubbing alcohol, food coloring and gallon zip lock bags. Then it is as easy as three, two, one. 3 cups of rice, 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and 1 tablespoon of food coloring.  Put all of the ingredients into a zip lock bag, massage and watch the magic happen.  Once the rice as soaked up all the color it can, spread the rice onto trays of some sort and let it air dry.  After about an hour you'll have this:

Colorful fun for everyone!  I'll let you see it in action:

And now, we must have a moment of silence for my dear chalk horse:
David ran over him!
Haha, tomorrow is Friday!  TGIF!!



  1. lol @ your horse and Ayden almost dumping the rice :)

    I really need to make something like that, or noodles, I hear that's fun too.

  2. I do Tot School daily with my son & we do lots of sensory play. He always enjoys it.

  3. I love this. I hope as you do more sensory activities with him you will tag them together in a link to be used as a resource. It'd help me a year down the road when I want to try them.