I don't know where I picked up this idea, but once I heard about it I knew it was something I wanted to try. It just sounded like great fun!
Basically, you take a box and put dry rice in it. Then add toys, cars, scoops, spoons, whatever. There are lots of great things about a rice box.
- It works on the skills of dumping and pouring.
- It gives a different sensory experience from regular activities.
- It's a preschool teaching aid: Find all the red objects or all the circles, etc.
- It's an elementary teaching aid: Put some plastic letters in the rice and tell the student to spell the word "home" (or whatever).
- Use measuring cups and teach math. Have them count how many 1/2 cups it takes to fill up a whole cup.
- If more than one child is playing with the box it teaches sharing. (I just gotta laugh at this one! You'll see why in a minute...)
- It teaches them that some things are not meant to be eaten without being cooked, too! LOL!
It's also great if you just need your kids to be well occupied for 30 minutes or more, too! :)
Today I just put a few odds-n-ends in the rice box to let them get acquainted with it and just let them play. Will and Witt were given the first opportunity to use it as Nathan was still taking a nap. The box shown is a 12 L box and I think it has about 10 lbs of rice in it.
At 1:55 PM I brought it out. Notice the lack of rice on the floor. They played nicely with it at first. Will was digging around searching for the little nick-knacks while Witt was happily scooping and pouring.
Once Witt saw the little plastic frogs, though... the niceties were over. Two year olds don't share very well and he as a *thing* for frogs. Mama should have known better! I brought out another box and separated the rice.
Here's they are at 2:00 PM.
At 2:20 PM:
And at 2:31 PM:
I had to get the broom at this point. Cleanup was really quick and easy, though! (Be sure to start with a newly swept floor if you do this inside so you can sweep up the rice and dump it back in the box; otherwise, you are going to be sweeping dirt in with your rice and won't be able to reuse it... please don't ask how I know. LOL!)
Nathan woke up and was very excited about the rice box, too! He got to play with both of them by himself!
But, only for a little while... :) Here they are still playing at 2:45 PM (before the monster trucks were brought in):
I didn't take another picture, but trust me... by the time these two were done with the monster truck, there was rice all over the floor. At least this time when I swept I was only sweeping rice and not dirt and rice. :)
What other applications can you think of in using a rice box?