sensory

Colourful rice activity

Which child doesn't enjoy the colors of the rainbow! This activity was lots of fun! It was mess free since the rice gets "painting" in a Ziplock so my baby was able to join us in the fun.

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Age recommendation: Any age as long as your baby does not put this in their mouths. You need to monitor them as they play.

Materials: Rice (we used Basmati), Ziplocks, Tempera Paint, large tray and container.

How to play: Full instructions along with a video can be found on The Imagination Tree website. 

Learning and Development: This is mostly a discover and play activity. It is a great sensory activity for young children. I added some small animals along with fine motor tools from Learning Resources and trucks (not seen in picture). These types of activities are wonderful to help build concentration skills in children. They are calming and allow parents to "take a breathe" (as long as you get used to the mess some create!). If you want to work on executive function skills, you can ask your child to guide you into some imaginary play with the animal figurines. Is the rice their food? Is it their home? Allow your child to decide what role you play. If they create a scenario (i.e. the giraffe ate the lion's food), you can even ask them how your "animal" should react. This will help them build emotional awareness and self-regulation skills as well. 

 

Edible Paint

I was excited to introduce my daughter to painting. She was about 9 months old and I found this wonderful activity in the book called 150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids by Asia Citro. My daughter painted a little then ate the rest of it...I was glad it was made from Greek Yogurt! 

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Age recommendation: Baby (as long as they can eat dairy)

Materials: Plain Greek Yogurt, recipe calls for Kool-Aid packets but I used food colouring, small containers and paper (used my roll of paper from IKEA) and a plastic table cloth from the dollar store to cover your floor (you might want to place a bib on your baby as well!)

How to play

  • Decide how many colours you would like, then divid your yogurt into a few bowls depending on how many colours you will be using. With very young babies I suggest only a little yogurt (2-3 spoons per bowl) since from experience it will all end up on their clothes or in their mouths! 
  • Add a few drops of food colouring and stir until you get the desired colour.
  • Lay some paper out.
  • You can either finger paint or use paint brushes. Start by showing your baby what to do. You can also take their hand and dip it in the paint and show them how to spread it across the paper. 
  • For some older children (12-24 months) you can also paint using an easel since this upright position is important for motor skills and writing skills. 

Learning and Development: The 9 month CDC milestones state that a baby should be able to point at something. This activity allows your abby to practice this. You can get them to keep their finger out and show them to dab their paint in different locations of the paper. This is more of a sensory and arts activity. Allow them to explore the texture and give them time to create any work of art!