Rainbows feature a lot in early years and sensory play. This one was for an Up, Up and Away Sensory Workshop with Giggles Early Years.
Scented rainbow rice – an All Of Me Sensory classic! Love how it is still as fabulous deconstructed!
I dyed the rice first using a combination of food colour and paint to get the desired shades.
I diluted the colour in a little vinegar to help evenly distribute throughout. I don’t usually do this, adding vinegar is not always necessary, but I was doing it in between dinner and bedtime for my 3 boys, so needed to get it done ASAP!
I have also discovered that when the mixture is not too damp to start (i.e. not adding lots of paint or vinegar), it is not necessary to spread on a tray to dry.
- I add the value rice to a zip lock bag that is big enough to allow for moving and shaking! This is where little ones can help. Be careful though, vigorous shaking usually results in a tear and flying rice!
- which is step 2! Move, shake and squish until evenly distributed – unless you are going for a lovely graduated/ ombre effect (a.k.a. lazy rice – just don’t add as much colour or mix enough to cover easily)
- I then leave the bag open and sitting on worktop for a few hours (usually overnight)
- I check occasionally to make sure it is not drying in clumps (if it does, just give it another squish!)
- When dry – reseal bag and go – this is handy as I need to transport rice easily and quickly for my sensory workshops. Honestly drying like this has saved me entire minutes of my time, multiplied by the number of different colours, saving is significant. Plus – no mess (before messy play commences) – trying to decant rice in to and out of bags from plates and trays can be scatteringly annoying when you are in a rush and don’t bother to use a funnel!
I scented each colour rice, so red was rose, orange was, well orange, green was almond, blue was eucalyptus and purple was lavender – not exactly rocket science was it but very effective! I use Wilton Food Colour
For this Up, Up and Away session, I added and changed resources throughout (3 groups, total approx 45 children!) Very loose concept of rainbow with ‘gold’ aka plastic coins (get yours here Gold Coins.
The children loved the coins – they sorted, counted, stacked, examined them, and engaged in beautiful imaginative play – burying them in rice then ‘digging for treasure’.
I also added a load of plastic brightly coloured bangles, they made a lovely clattering sound on the tray and rice. The children enjoys twirling them on fingers, stacking lots of them on wrists.
The wooden Grimm’s Large Rainbow was a beautiful addition to the experience. It has a lovely texture, and colours are so vibrant. The children took a while to really begin to engage, until I pulled the rainbow apart, laying some pieces down – changing the orientation of resources creates a different context, inspiring play, manipulation and creativity in a different way – suddenly the play changed away from playing with the resources as a ‘rainbow’ to this …
Watch this video for beautiful language, exciting and creative play – this little girl was so focused and engaged – you can tell by the speed at which she is playing/ working how enthusiastic she is!
Check out this post for more rainbow fun Spring Sensory Activities – part 2 Rainbows
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Thank you for reading, your comments and feedback are really important so please do stop and say hello! For lots more sensory play activities pop over to Facebook if you are interested in purchasing a few unusual sensory resources and treasure basket items check out my Facebook Shop
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