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