For the record, we don't always do preschool activities in costumes, but when it's a little over a week before "dress up any way you choose" day (AKA- Halloween) it's hard to get your preschooler to wear anything other than her new mermaid costume. :)
So, the other night I made rainbow rice for this activity and I can't tell you enough how much I love this stuff! It's crazy easy to make and kids LOVE it! I'll put the recipe for Rainbow Rice at the bottom of this post if you're interested. :) I put it in a sensory bin in separate piles because it looks so pretty but once play begins it doesn't stay separated for long. :) MJ started the activity by getting the rice all nice and mixed up. She loved how it felt and had fun scooping and pouring it like sand.
We took a break from sensory play for a little learning game. :) While I hid small, neon pink letter F's in the rainbow rice she counted the squares in a ten-frame (a ten-frame is a 2x5 rectangle to build number sense to 10.) We would use the ten-frame for our game.
Then, the real fun began! Her big job was to rescue the Fs from the rice and glue them safe in their homes in the ten frame. The ten frame served two purposes: 1) it created a visual for counting up to ten 2) it helped her visually identify how many Fs she found and how many she still needed to "rescue."
This is an example of a great independent activity. She was able to count, "rescue," and glue the Fs all by herself. To make the activity even simpler for you I created a printable with a ten frame along with letter Fs you can cut out and use to hide in your rainbow rice.
(See FREE Printable & Rainbow Rice recipe below)
This is also a great activity to invite your other littles to join in. After my Sadie woke up from her nap she was delighted to join in the rice play. She's 22 months old and all about sensory play. She giggled at the rice running over and through her hands, she loved scooping and pour, and making a gigantic mess! The beauty of Rainbow Rice is that it sweeps up or vacuums up well. It always makes my heart swell when both my girls can participate in learning play! (Note: Sadie did need a few gentle reminders that this wasn't rice to eat but rather rice to play.)
Rainbow Rice Recipe
- 2 cups white rice
- 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
- 8-10 drops of food coloring
- Ziplock bag
- Wax Paper
Dump rice, vinegar, and food coloring into a ziplock bag. Zip the bag shut and shake vigorously until the food coloring is evenly distributed. Add more food coloring if you haven't reached your desired color richness. Carefully pour rice out onto wax paper and let dry over night or for at least a few hours. Enjoy!