Rice and … Rainbows!

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

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

Click on the images below for affiliate links to the products used in this activity

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

For details of all the everything offered by All Of Me Sensory head over to Services page


DIY Paint – Yoghurt part 2

This was my 2 year old enjoying the spoils of my Sensory workshops (more details over in Services

His big brothers were away at a sleep over and he was enjoying some quality time with me ( a rare treat for them all).

I love this video.  It takes a lot for us as adults to stop, and say nothing, just let children be.  He played uninterrupted for about an hour, without direction or instruction.  you can see at some points he looks at camera (me) to check if its ok to proceed.  Like I say, uninterrupted play is a rare treat – no big brothers trying to make up rules and lead the way, and mum not worrying about having to hose down 3 kids!

I love the language he uses, I love how he methodically empties each container, I love how he mixes the colours, I love how he makes marks in the yoghurt paint, I love this kid!  Details of how to make it here DIY Paint… Yoghurt

i have been getting a lot of enquired about the mirror tray I use in a lot of my sensory workshops.  Unfortunately I cannot find a link for the mirror insert.  This one is about 3 years old, and well and truly used!  Here is an affiliate link to a similar tray Garland 80 x 80cm Square Tray

Pop over to Facebook Page for more post, ideas and sensory activities.  Feedback, likes and comments always appreciated.


Carly x

DIY Paint… Yoghurt

By DIY Paint I refer to any coloured mixture that can be spread or applied to a surface, or can be used for wet mark making.

So, I think in most of my blog posts I have mentioned DIY paint – I use it in some form in most of my sessions, so here is a quick behind the scenes of one of my favourite go to sensory resources!


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Spaghetti and… Paint part 2

So over in part 1 I shared some activities using spaghetti with scissors, pop over and have a read.

Here I am going to share some activites when you add paint to spaghetti play.

There are lots of different options with paint – I’ve used

  • Neon paint
  • Glitter paint (colour not as vibrant works well when added with a base colour
  • Pastel paint


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Spaghetti and… Scissors part 1

DIY Paint… YoghurtScissors are an excellent tool to develop fine motor skills. They develop hand eye coordination, fine muscle control in hands and arms, and concentration to focus and cut with intention and purpose.

I have a wee confession, We rarely use scissors to cut paper here!

The above skills can be developed in many way, using malleable materials such as dough, marking making tools such as brushes and crayons, construction materials, the list and opportunities are endless.

So when I choose to offer scissors during sensory play, I want to make sure it is engaging, entertaining and of course multi-sensory; so I am afraid paper often just doesn’t quite cut it (pun intended!)

Here is a link to some of our current favourite scissors ✂ CRAFT SCISSORS

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Building a Community

I am on a mission to share the love! By offering FREE sensory workshops to local charities and organisations – starting in Newcastle, Co. Down.

Sharing the  love of Sensory Play with babies and children in families, in schools and groups. That is pretty easy, very often groups and organisations, through their fabulous staff training and experience, are very aware of the developmental benefits and learning that take place during sensory play – all I have to do is bring along all of my fabulous resources, to Stay and Play Workshops set them up in inviting and stimulating ways and let the children do what they do best, play.  Simple!

But what about the families and carers who haven’t had training, who haven’t experienced the joy of children engaging in sensory play? Continue reading

Make and Take Versus Pinterest!

Why come to a Make and Take Workshops?

In the age of smart phones, Google and Pinterest there is surely nothing a parent can’t do at home?

Hoping to respond to the eternal eye-rolling, deep-sighing and ‘I’m bored’ cry from children, or the, on the ball, super organised, super motivated, super-caffeinated parent looking to provide all of the entertainment, fun and stimulation, all of the time, can do with a quick online search in an instant?

Absolutely right. 18739920_1462810007115473_1307968060486169004_n (1)

There are unending search engine pages of crafts, activities, DIY , cheap and cheery things to be found online.

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