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You know the saying every child is different?  It's so true!  By the time she was a year old, S was already quite interested in art.  She'd fingerpaint and color with markers with the intent to produce a drawing.  It was amazing and so much fun.  X loves markers, too...but to dump not to draw!  Nevertheless, I like to engage him in art activities from time to time, because one of these days I just know it will click for him!

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We often like to use contact paper in lieu of glue, and given X's natural desire to examine handfuls of sensory materials and drop them, I thought I would create an art invitation that allowed him to make art while getting to DUMP!


S and I colored rice according to our usual method with Colorations Liquid Watercolors (we chose just three colors this time) and we presented X with three containers - one for each color.  I cut large squares of cardboard from our recycling and covered them with contact paper (sticky side out - I used tape along the edges to secure the contact paper to the cardboard).  We then placed one sticky canvas on either side of our splat mat (one for X and one for S - though we knew X was liable to wander between the two).


X investigated the sticky canvas, and then set to work examining handfuls of rice and dropping them.


S was much more intentional - at times placing single grains of rice - while X was randomly dropping large handfuls.  Love this shot of my two curly headed babies!


And I've always got to get a picture of those chubby baby feet and toes!!!


Towards the end, (with sister's assistance) a digger arrived to help scoop the loose rice.  X thought this was a great turn of events!


Once they were completely done with their art pieces, I added one final layer of contact paper (this time sticky layer down) and taped around the edges.  Even as finished/sealed pieces of artwork - they were still fun.  You could touch and roll some of the grains of rice and the loose bits in between the two layers of contact paper made a quiet rattling noise.

My sweet baby with his (unintentional, but beautiful nonetheless) artwork.


The rattling noise inspired S to dance.  And dance she did all around the living room with her piece of art!  (S never can pass up a good opportunity for an interpretive dance.)


This was a fun way to involve little X in some art play and despite appearances, it was super easy to clean up!  Most of the rice was on the splat mat, so I made a funnel and dumped it back into a container to save for another day.  Any remaining stray grains of rice easily vacuumed up!

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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children.  As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family.  I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision.  Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies).  Observe caution and safety at all times.  The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.

Comments

  1. Great idea and wonderful photos of two precious children. Thank you. Will try with my grands.

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope it is a hit with your grandbabies as well! :) :)

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  2. Oh yay! My little guy will be 1 this month!!! :) Thanks for the idea!!! I love that I can preserve his play time as art!

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    1. Congrats on your soon-to-be one year old! That's so fun - I hadn't thought of it that way. Perfect!!!! :)

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  3. Great idea. Yes children can be so different. My oldest didn't want to paint or anything as a young toddler. I even have a post about what a failure I felt like (I was an art major after all!). She is just about 4.5 and have only started making representational drawings. We did eventuallu start to paint together. But you know what she does love? Notes. We have notes coming out our ears here! My ten month old seems a little more inclined to the messy so I'll have to try this one!

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    1. Hahaha, I read your post about the notes. Poor mama! They sure do like to fixate on things, right? S's favorite activity is for me to make voices for everything. EVERYTHING. The floor. The door. The ceiling. The blanket. Aaaaahhhhh!

      This rice activity seems right up Bennet's alley. ;)

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  4. I love this!! Sharing on G+ and with our FB/Twitter followers :)
    Colleen at Sugar Aunts

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    1. YAY! Thank you so much, Sugar Aunts! You guys rock! :)

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  5. I love that Dance :) WHat a simple but really lovely Art project.

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    1. Hi Veens! It was really QUITE the dance. ;) Thank you so much!!! :)

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  6. I am a mom to 7 kids, homeschooling for 12 years but a newbie when it comes to purposeful sensory play (of course we're pros at the not on purpose kind) I did my first sensory rice bin today with my 1 year old. She loved scooping it, grabbing it, throwing it. She even tried eating it but spit it out pretty fast. So I have some questions about how to do sensory bins and keep mama and baby happy. Do you teach your little ones to keep the mess on the blanket? I had rice everywhere and threw a lot of it away when I swept it up. I would like to keep and re-use, especially when I get some water colors. How closely do you supervise. I was across the room doing a reading lesson with another child. I wanted some more nitty gritty details and advice. Maybe you already have a post about it. If so, send me a link.

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    1. That's so awesome! I'm so glad to hear that she loved it. I do have a post on my blog, but there's an even more detailed section on this subject in my book and you can actually pop over to amazon and use the "Look Inside" to read it right now, haha, so I'll give you that link:

      http://goo.gl/fFjBsC

      From there just click "Look Inside" and the section on managing messy play starts on page 17! Hope that helps! :)

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Welcome to Fun at Home with Kids! I'm Asia, a teacher (M. Ed) turned SAHM mom to two young kids: X and S. Around here we like to do a little bit of everything - science, art, crafts, sensory play, and small world play. Click here to read more about us!

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