Monday, 25 March 2013

Easter sensory play (Påsk"ris")

Green and yellow coloured rice were added to a big box together with a big cardboard traditional Swedish easter egg that can be used as two cup/bowl forms to collect things; some mini eggs; some chicks; tea-strainers. My aim was to offer an Easter themed sensory activity as one of the activities on offer as we welcomed a new child to our group. (I did not notice the heart shape until I looked at these photos - I just randomly dumped the rice in quickly before the children arrived)
The tea-strainers proved really fun (even for me - I just loved the way they suddenly snapped up a chick or an egg) and both the mini eggs and chicks fitted perfectly inside - although there were plenty of giggles every time feet got left outside. The children also tested using them as maracas - which had a variety of results as sometimes they did not seal properly as the odd rice corn would get between the outer lips and then rice would just shake all over the place.

I added a mirror, as I saw there was an interest in taking out the rice from the box to put it on the mirror - much better to experiment and keep the rice contained. I can also recommend keeping hold of any HEXBUG tubes that you might get your hands on (they come in tube packaging) as this was great fun to play with.

A couple of clean paint brushes could be used to sweep the rice of the mirror and then create the space to let it rain down again
Of course the rice ended up on the light table - I mean who can resist? Not me at any rate!!
What I thought would be an activity that would entertain for about 10-20 minutes entertained the children for a full hour, and they returned to it in the afternoon. Various play was happening - from just testing and feeling, to filling and emptying, to role play of feeding the chicks, to experimenting with sound, to making piles, to collecting eggs, to collaboration skills and language skills, fine motor skills (opening and closing those tea strainers was not that easy for little hands, took a great deal of concentration). There was also construction and early writing skills in the rice - but most importantly there was friendship making.

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