I am writing a short series of posts entitled "Super Easy Sensory Play".  Activities included in the series all contain two or fewer ingredients and are items that are generally found in any house, so no need to run to the store for specialty items.  I hope that you will give them all a try!  You can read the other posts in the series here:
We introduced X to rice play the other day and he was cracking me up with his expressions.  For some reason he thought it was just the weirdest thing he'd ever touched!  He kept grimacing and giving the handfuls of rice strange looks.  I'm glad I had my camera on hand to capture it because he's since become used to it and plays with rice without any weird expressions.

I'd "hidden" some of his wooden toys in the rice, but at first go, he was really more interested in figuring out what the heck rice was.

He loved taking big handfuls and watching them drop.  The rice made a pretty noise hitting the oilcloth (like rain), which my musical X enjoyed as well.

I'd made S a rice bin as well, with some of her dinos, but of course they each favored each others' bins.  So they switched.  Here X is super excited to be playing with the big kid toys!

Rice is a great alternative to sand if you have young children who are still mouthing.  S didn't put things in her mouth by a year old, but many of her friends did, so for her first birthday party we filled her blowup pool with rice and had sand toys for the kids to play with in lieu of a sandbox.

For older children, it's fun to make colored rice for art projects or a sensory bin.

Rice is a safe, fun, and easy thing to play with that has almost universal appeal - I know I still enjoy getting down and playing with it as an adult!  So long as you are not eating your rice or getting it wet, it stores for quite a while.  We use shoe storage boxes that have snapping lids (we've gotten them from Target) to store our sensory items, and our rainbow rice is still in perfect shape almost 6 months later!

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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.


  1. Thanks for this idea. My son loves playing with rice! He inevitably ends up dumping it then feeling it with his feet. It's so cute! I like the small inflatable pool idea from your other post... the splat mat is no match for my boy! :)

    1. Soooo cute! X loves feeling it with his chubby feet, too! Hahaha - the pool should work much better at containing his joyful play. :)

  2. I LOVE this idea! My son is 4months old so I will try this as soon as he can sit up unassisted. But as a worry wort first time mom my only question is,does the rice pose a choking hazard?

    1. Thank you, Rita! Please check with your pediatrician, but my understanding is that it is OK to use around babies.

  3. Hello! I LOVE your blog...I just discovered it through Pinterest. I host a Mommy Meetup group, so I will certainly be sharing your site with them. How old is your son here? I would love to try this with my 6 and a half month old but she still puts everything in her mouth so I worry she will only be interested in trying to eat the rice? thanks a million!!

    1. Thank you, Michelle! He's about 6 months old as well. I share a lot more about my approach in my book about sensory play (150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids), but basically I just continually discourage mouthing and after enough repetition my kids stop mouthing things in the sensory bins. I hope that helps! :)


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