The Mess Mat

Rainbow Rice Sensory Bin & Literacy Lesson

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With Spring right around the corner, and being just a bit too early to begin our next  Toddler School Mini Unit on RAINBOWS. My fellow Oregonians know that it can be quite unpredictable this time of year! We can have storms and sunshine all in the same afternoon.

We wake up in the morning and look outside. I’ve been telling Cash all about rain, sun, wind, clouds, sky and of course RAINBOWS!

Conveniently, Wyatt is also learning about colors too! {Perfect!}

We have this wonderful book titled, “What makes a Rainbow?” by Betty Schwartz. {Snag yours HERE} It has a rainbow of ribbons that magically appear as you turn the pages. Super fun. It’s a cute story about a little rabbit asking creatures “what makes a rainbow” as he learns the colors needed.

The boys love the ribbons, and the book is strong {since it has survived 2 years and 2 kids!}

Anyway, the perfect thing to discuss a rainbow is obviously Rainbow Rice! Which I’ve been just so excited to make and find a reason to use! Learn how you can make your own DIY Rainbow Rice HERE. Or, no time to DIY? I can mail  you some from Etsy. Check out your options HERE.

 

So to begin our lesson, like every other we start over on The Mess Mat.

 

I brought out a long storage tub for this because I knew it would be a big deal.
I was pleasantly surprised by Cash’s discipline as I introduced it. He didn’t dive in as I suspected he would, but instead let me read the story.
He then took the book and began sorting rice into it….
See him in action in this Instagram VIDEO
He would pluck up little handfuls and turn the pages to the right color ,then deposit the rice on the page. I don’t know why he did that, but he did! My little sorter…

 

Brother then woke up…and our rainbow began to mix…
{look at those cute little hands…}
 

 

I continued talking about colors, walking Wyatt through each little pile he destroyed. Cash continued sorting into his book for awhile.
 Eventually, Cash ditched the book when he realized brother was have more fun making a big mess… and mom was okay with it!
That’s when the fun began! {note they’re still just using their hands}

 

 I finally added in some utensils, scoops and other objects {since we’re just playing now}

 

Top toys in the bin were the heart cookie cutters and magnifying glasses: Cash would gather rice into it and then inspect the colors he collected.
Clear containers were a huge hit with Wyatt, who enjoyed shaking the rice out.
The funnel was probably the overall favorite for Cash.

 

 As we rolled into our THIRD hour on The Mess Mat {our most successful and stimulating lesson yet!} I just continued reading the book. Wyatt eventually crawled up into my lap and just watched his brother who began to swim in rice after he crawled into the tub.
Cash makes the rice ‘rain’ over his head. He also ate quite a bit of it, which I do not recommend… the dye runs when it gets wet.

 

Needless to say, I think I’ve convinced you to try some Rainbow Rice! The sensory activity alone, without the Literacy Lesson is fun all by itself! I would love to hear your stories and successes on your mess mats!
*Please remember that children should be supervised at ALL times while playing as there is totally a possibility for choking. I would not encourage your children to eat the rice, or even lick it as Cash did. It will also make a large mess and the floor will get slippery if covered in rice! This would be a great opportunity to practice your Clean Up Box!
**This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon to buy the book. It also contains links to my Etsy store. Happy shopping!

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