I love sensory materials that are safe if tasted because babies and toddlers are notorious tasters! (Please note that these mixes have often come into contact with peanuts - so please exercise caution if your family has a history of peanut allergies! Flax seed is a great alternative if peanut contamination may be an issue for your baby.) Wild birdseedis one of our favorites because it won't harm kids if they taste (not that you should allow them to actively eat birdseed - please do discourage eating/tasting!), it's scoopable, pourable, and it easily vacuums up if you are inside (and if you are outside, it will simply sprout and grow like grass!).
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When S was younger, birdseed was one of my go-to sensory fills for parties because toddlers like to pour and they like to taste! Here's little S (around 19 months) and some of her little buddies enjoying scooping and pouring at a water table full of birdseed.
X had never played with birdseed before, so he was super excited to see something so tiny! It was great fine motor practice for him to isolate seeds to examine.
S still loves playing with birdseed and now that she's older, she loves to interact with it in new ways - like sorting!
Very shortly after introducing the bin, they both jumped in. :) I love how you can see each of their reflections in the spoons they're holding!
Because it's such a fun scoop/pour material, I provided several different "scoopers" - measuring spoons, a large spoon, and a soup ladle - as well as something to "pour" into - a muffin pan.
X was really fascinated by the pouring.
So much so that we decided to move the muffin tin into their laps.
X loves music and sound, so he appreciated the tinkling noise the seeds made as they fell into the muffin tin while S was busy making birdseed muffins. :)
Such a good sis - she kept pouring the seeds for mesmerized X over and over.
Love their cute little feet hanging out in a giant bin.
Oh my strange children...I really don't know what they were up to here, hahaha.
S loves to pretend to sleep in our bins. X usually pokes at her until she "wakes up".
S decided to bring some of her "guys" in to play. She would bury them and dig them out. X got to help.
He loves when he gets to help. :)
Good thing the "guys" have two rescuers hard at work - the situation looks a bit serious!
We are lucky to live in a forest, basically, with tons of birds, so after we're done playing with this, it goes into a feeder on our back deck. If you're looking for birdseed to use with a baby/toddler, be sure to get the kind that is just seeds (generally speaking - this is the type advertised for wild birds vs the type advertised for pet birds) as some mixes have weird vitamins mixed in (usually the seeds for pet birds).
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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.