Tag Archives: kids

Rainbow rice sensory bin

Running a daycare may sound like an easy job, but believe me, it’s no easy task. Although I try my hardest to keep the kids on a set schedule, I’m only one person and sometimes I have to take time out to clean up after an activity or make lunch. For this, we have a few different free play times during the day. The kids can get pretty bored with the same toys week after week so I make an effort to switch things around every few weeks.

One area the kids love and is easily changed is the sensory area. I have a small mirror, a light table, and then there is the rainbow rice sensory bin which I can say, without a doubt, is their favorite. There’s really not much to a sensory bin and keeps kids seriously entertained. The kids sit around filling and emptying cups into other containers, pretending theyre making food or pretending their digging things up all from this simple bin of colored rice! This can easily be changed by adding different toys to match a weekly theme or holiday.

I learned how to color rice from Artful Homemaking here. It was pretty easy. I bought a big 10 lb bag of rice (which ended up being waaay too much) seperated it into 5 different bowls and died it using alcohol, food coloring and a few drops of water. I let it dry overnight and threw it all together in a big plastic bin from Target. I added in all kinds of different things to keep the kids busy;empty and cleaned bottles, spoons, cups, measuring cups etc. I also love to change the things in the bin according to holidays. We just had a really cute one for Halloween that the kids really enjoyed.

Although I keep this outside in the garage/playroom, I do occasionally bring it in the house if we have kids visiting or my daughter has a friend over from school. Most kids never played with something like a sensory bin, so it’s a treat!

Here’s a peak at what ours looks like

20121112-194342.jpgwe also have some alphabet magnets just for fun! And chance I get to throw some learning and letter recognition I’m all in!

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Gak attack!

Who remembers gak? The slimey gooey stuff which really doesn’t have a purpose yet, is still SO much fun! I always bought the teeny tiny containers that would sell for a quarter and would pretend it was boogers with my little brother(TMI? Lol). I absolutely loved ( and still do love) gak! So, imagine my excitement when I came across a homemade gak recipe on Pinterest AND had all the stuff on hand to make it.

I found the recipe over here at Crunchy Betty.

20121107-150628.jpg the ingredients in gak are super simple! borax, glue, and water (food color optional) That’s it!

20121107-150923.jpg First, dissolve the 1tsp of borax in 1 cup water. Then, in a separate bowl combine the whole 4oz bottle of glue, 1/2 cup water and food coloring.

20121107-151019.jpg once those are both finished mixing add them together. You will see the immediate polymerization. I mix it with a fork but it stays pretty separated so I get down and dirty with my hand til it looks like this

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The kids had a blast with this stuff, and I’m not going to lie, so did I! They didn’t use anything but their hands to play with this stuff! Watching it “grow” and holding it high as it slithers down their hand was cool enough for them. This kept them occupied for an eternity (or about half an hour). They have been asking to play with it ever since!

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The joy of gak!