I posted here about how I am a fan of The Imagination Tree, and the freedom in play that Anna gives her children which allows them to explore their world and environment. Exploration is the key to learning, providing them this opportunity in a focused and safe way is so important.
When I saw this post from her the other day, 'Flowers and Fairies Sensory Tub', I was immediately interested and thought how I could adapt it for use with a boy.
Basically dye some dried rice using food colouring, allow it to dry for a day, pour it into a shallow and wide tub, and then add some extra items in for variety of texture, size and colour.
I dyed two lots of rice; one blue and one yellow. However, I am an impatient Annie and didn't have the inclination to wait a whole day for it to dry. So I put it in the oven on a very low heat for two hours. Anna and I had a discussion over twitter as to whether this would work, she was pleased to hear that it did. I then added a handful of primary coloured sequins, feathers, beads, some old house keys, and last but not least, googly eyes!
We had great fun with this treasure box. He was very reluctant at first to get his hands in amongst the rice, but once I'd got him convinced that it wasn't going to hurt him, he was captivated. We got a couple of pots out and he started to use these for sorting the sequins into, and then pouring the rice from one pot to another.
I had bought a tub from Ikea for this, and made sure I got one with a lid, which has meant that we've been able to store it on top of the cupboard and come back to it. When I need a little more space, this will pour into a screw-top jar and can be used again. Not sure how long it will last but I'm giving it a go.
Anna has identified these learning links from this activity:
- sensory: exploring a range of textures and materials with hands (and feet!)
- fine motor: scooping, pouring, pincer grip to pick up individual pieces of rice, mixing
- creative: make up stories and role play scenarios using toys and imagination
- literacy: develop language, vocabulary and storytelling skills
- maths: count out scoops/petals/rice/sequins, explore capacity through filling and emptying
- PSHE: work collaboratively and share resources