So I am doing another ‘Themed Week” ….Pirate Week was such a hit with my kiddos we decided to do “Under The Sea” week….so each day this week I will post a different Ocean themed craft or recipe.
We also took this opportunity to learn about the real-life versions of some of the sea creatures we made….it has been lots of fun.
Today (Day One) is a DIY Ocean Sensory Box. Sensory boxes are a great way to learn. There is a really neat post you can read here about the educational aspects of a Sensory bin. I can not tell you how big of a hit this was….it blew my mind…we actually started our Ocean week last week and they are still playing with it this week.
The first time I broke out the ocean box my 5 year old played with it for 1 1/2 hours straight and my almost 3 year old went 45 minutes…which is probably a new record for him.
What you will need
Plastic box with lid (size of choice)
Box full of kitchen utensils (tongs, spoons, brushes, cups…)
Colored Rice (see instructions below)
Miscellaneous objects- (toy sea creatures, plastic, shower curtain rings, shells, floral beads)
Muffin tins (optional)
A parent or adult to supervise
Ingredients & Directions for Colored Rice
Plastic Zip-up Gallon Bag(s)
Add 3 tablespoons of white vinegar in a cup and add the food color (of choice), stir and pour into a gallon size zip-up plastic bag, add your uncooked rice and seal tightly…then shake, shake, shake…if you color isn’t dark enough add more coloring and shake, shake, shake some more.
Once you have your desired color, spread the rice evenly on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and allow to dry completely (I put mine outside and it was dry in about an hour. Granted it is Summer)
For our box I used 3 bags of dry rice (Dollar Tree). I dyed 2 bags blue- different shades… and left one bag white…I wanted an oceany-feel.
Directions for Ocean Sensory Box
Add your colored rice to your plastic box and then mix in your other items. I gave each kid a muffin tin to fill and I also had a box of miscellaneous kitchen utensils.
It was immediate excitement…who knew a box of rice was that fun!
It was fun to see the dexterity and hand-eye coordination of my 3 year old compared to my five year old.
It was also funny to see how differently they chose to fill their muffin tins ..Reese was more interested in the rice and no organization…Liam was totally organized….this is typical of their personalities.
Now, as you have probably gathered…this is going to make a bit of a mess…nothing a vacuum or broom can’t fix….just be prepared. We have broken out our box several times since it debuted….I love to break it out when I need to do something in the kitchen that is going to take a few minutes…like cook dinner…that way I can keep them in my sights. They are entertained and everyone is happy.
As for the cost…very inexpensive….the rice cost me $3, the bin $1.50, the other items I found at The Dollar Tree….except for the shells…I found those for $2.99 per bag at Hobby Lobby…we are also using those for another craft this week… the kitchen utensils we already had…
I also want to stress here….that this you should select items that are age/child appropriate and children should be supervised at all times….especially with small objects.
Thanks for the Idea KidsActivityBlog
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