I recently dyed some rice and filled medium sized tub with a collection of fall themed curiosities, as a fun learning activity for my two year old toddler to explore!
I was inspired to make a fall themed sensory tub after checking out the website Counting Coconuts– where the author often fills tubs with various objects for her preschooler to explore. Below you’ll see what I used in our tub.
Though- you could use practically anything!
Step 1- I dyed some rice rainbow colors, by dropping food coloring in drops all over it in different colors- then mixing. For one solid color rice just put a few drops of one color food coloring in a baggy with rice and vinegar, mix and allow to dry on newspaper.
Step 2- I added special “fall themed” items to the rainbow rice base, and poured it all into a small metal basin.
(close up of the fall sensory bin inside)
I added: leaves of varying size and colors, pine needles, yellow leaves cut out of foam, a plastic spider (my daughter loves bugs!), a clay heart that smelled like pumpkin, and several acorns.
Step 3- I spread out a circle tablecloth that was autumn themed and explained to my little pumpkin that she could have fun with everything inside the tub- no rules except that everything had to stay within the circle! This kept rice from covering the living room! She followed the rule great!
Some Activities we did with the Sensory Tub:
- Compare the sizes of the leaves.
- Put the tops on and off the acorns. Do the small acorn tops fit the large acorns, do the large acorns tops fit the small?
- Do the foam leaves feel the same as the real leaves? Are they just pretend leaves?
- Do things sound differently when they are dropped in the tub?
Free Play: The pumpkin also enjoyed pretending to “cook” with the rice. She would fill up cups and containers and pour the rice back and forth telling me it was different things. Sometimes she was making soup- other times pouring water!
Favorite Activity: Standing in the rice! And letting mommy trickle rice on her bare legs and feet! She loved how it felt, and it was a great chance to to talk about words that described how it felt, like “tickles” “crunchy” and “sandy!”
Bottom Line: I will definitely be doing more themed sensory tubs! My pumpkin loved it- and it gave us a great chance to learn new things in a fun way:)