Just a bin and plain rice. No colors. No pre-planned tools or toys. No theme. No specific topic to influence. Just plain rice.
Just to prove that you don’t need a whole lot to get kids’ imaginations flowing.
Three of my daughters played with the rice and each had a different reaction.
As I figured, my three-year old wasn’t very interested. She is the type that definitely needs someone else to show her what to do with the rice. She didn’t understand when I said she could choose anything to play in it. That had a lot to do with her communication skills, so no problem.
Then, I suggested that my six-year old play in it. Again, not immediately interested.
Next, came the ten-year old. She immediately set to decorating it with the supplies from our butterfly garden sensory bin. At which point, my six-year old decided that the rice could be fun. Cue fight. Ah, well…
After Emma finished making her garden design, Jaida, the six-year old, jumped right in. She took out all the garden stuff and found a paper towel roll. And that’s all she wanted.
She decided to make a mountain. Then stick the paper towel roll into the mountain and fill it to the top. And then some.
Then, she wanted to figure out how to bury not
just one of her hands, but both. It took her a bit, but she figured it out.
She really wanted to bury her feet, but I drew the line at that. She obeyed.
Until I turned my back.
If you haven’t tried sensory bins yet, give it a try! Start simple.
You don’t have to buy a fancy bin or box to put your “bin” into. It’s hard to see from the pictures, but for the rice bin challenge, I simply used a cake pan.
I already had my sensory bin full from the butterfly garden and wasn’t ready to undo it yet, since the kids have been playing with it a bit each day. So, I just pulled out my biggest cake pan instead.
The kids can easily find things to play with. They may need a little nudge to get the creative juices flowing, but once they do…watch out!