All of my boys have enjoyed sensory experience, such as digging in pinto beans, but my third son is the most tactile of them all!  He has always been attracted to things that he can touch, feel, squish, and pour.  In fact, if I don’t provide enough sensory activities for him, he will find his own…  This has gotten better with age.  He will be turning 4 in May and is not nearly the handful that he was at 18 months!

Anyway, we have a shoe box sized tub for pinto beans, and we end up not getting them out very often because it’s hard to keep the mess contained.  I think that the problem has been the size – there’s just not enough room to scoop and pour and all of the other things he wants to do with the beans.

I decided to create a sensory play tub for him on a much larger scale:

Preschool Play with a Tub of Rice

This is a half size under-the-bed box that I purchased at Walmart.  I filled it with 5 lb. of rice, and Owen LOVES it!  We’ve had it about a month, and it has literally seen hours of use.  Jonathan is too young for it (14 months) but all of the other boys have had turns with the rice!

Preschool Play with a Tub of Rice

Here are the ways they like to play:

  • Scooping and pouring with measuring cups, spoons, bowls, and a funnel
  • Digging with construction trucks
  • Playing and pretending with Safari Toob animals
  • Treasure hunts by burying various toys and digging them up again

Our rule is that once the rice is no longer staying in the tub (reasonable accidental spills excluded) it’s time to put it away!

4 Comments

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  1. Angie Feb 23, 2013

    What a fun, neat idea!! :)

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    1. Jen Feb 24, 2013

      That looks like a l

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      1. Jen Feb 24, 2013

        Sorry;) working from my phone. I meant that looks like a load of fun! We may try that even with y kiddo being 6. Looks like something he will enjoy;)

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        1. Sarah Feb 24, 2013

          It's great for play, especially when the weather is bad and the boys can't get outside and dig in the dirt. My 6 year old loves to play in the rice, and my 9 year old also has to get a turn - but he doesn't stick with it as long.

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      2. Jenny @ The Brick Castle Feb 24, 2013

        Aww, that's great, I'd not really considered loose rice for bigger children. We filled a smaller box with snow a few times over winter and the boys played like that - hiding things and making caves and igloos :)

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        1. Sarah Feb 24, 2013

          Playing in snow sounds fun - especially for children who don't enjoy being bundled up and being cold outside! Too bad we don't have any snow here. We might get 1 or 2 inches a year!

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        2. Michelle Mar 1, 2014

          Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful ideas. I spend a lot of time with my grand daughter (2yr old) I keeping her entertained or busy is a must. There minds are open to soooo much, we cant event imagine.

          Keep up the great work

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