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Basic Sensory Activities

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Today I am participating in a blog hop organized by Sarah of Little Bins for Little Hands to talk about basic sensory activities. Sarah had the idea to do an “Un-challenge” of sorts…instead of setting up a parent-led themed sensory activity or small world exploration, Sarah thought, what if we all set out the same basic sensory activity and let our kids decide what to make of it!?

Basic Sensory Activities for Kids from Lalymom

And so the White Rice Sensory Bin Challenge was born. I think it is a great idea because I sometimes get intimidated thinking about setting up a special theme or assembling a lot of materials for sensory play and it gets in the way of just DOING it! My kids both really like the sensory activities we have done in the past, like our first messy play experience and our piggy bank sensory bin.

“I should do more of this,” I think to myself. This challenge is perfect for me because there is nothing to it. Just put some uncooked white rice in a plastic bin and let the kids play. I can do that!

Sensory Activities for Toddlers from lalymom

My daughter was at preschool one morning so I had some alone time with Mister One. I thought it would be good to do this with him alone so that he wasn't biased by following what big sister was doing.

To set up I laid out our white plastic table cloth to contain any stray rice, then poured some dollar store dried rice into a plastic bin. That is it! Then I showed Mister One where the bin was and showed him that we could touch it and play with it. He reached in with an unsure look on his face and dragged his hand through it. “Heh heh!” he giggled.

He really liked grabbing one grain of rice at a time to roll it around between his fingers. He liked giving me one grain of rice at a time. I know big sister likes the sensation of rice and other sensory materials falling on her hands so I tried scooping some up and dropping it on brother's hand too. He really laughed at that! Then he wanted to do it to my hand, which was cute.

After a little bit of running his hands through it and handling the grains one at a time he started grabbing handfuls and just throwing them. Now I know, this should not be against the rules but it was too much for ME to handle, sadly. I showed him a few times how the rice goes IN the bin, but after seeing the rice spray across the floor, that was truly all he wanted to do. So we brushed off and went back to playing trains in the other room.

Seems like the lesson is that we SHOULD do more of it, for MY sake!

I will try more, I will try more! I think this kind of basic sensory bin is awesome though, and I am going to work through some other dry ingredients…beans, lentils, pom poms, melty beads and aquarium rocks…before I move on to more basic sensory bin fillers or some of these creative sensory bin fillers.

Other Basic Sensory Activities

Basic Sensory Activities with Rice

If you would like to see how this awesome “un-challenge” went for the other participating bloggers, head over by clicking their names below! Thanks so much to Sarah for organizing it and for the motivation to do this easy and fun sensory activity!

Little Bins For Little Hands

A Mommy's Adventures


Creative World of Varya


Gift of Curiosity

Glittering Muffins

Here Come the Girls

Life Over C’s

Life with Moore Babies


P is for Preschooler

Preschool Inspirations

School Time Snippets

Still Playing School

Suzy Homeschooler

Teach Beside Me

Teach me Mommy

The Chaos and The Clutter

For more easy sensory activities and inspiration be sure to follow my Sensory & Messy Fun Pinterest Board!

Sensory Activities and Messy Fun Pinterest Board from Lalymom


Want more tips, tricks and ideas for sensory arts and crafts with toddlers?! I invite you to check out a lovely eBook that I contributed to. Art, Craft and Cooking with Toddlers is chock full of easy activities, step-by-step tutorials and inspiring photographs to take you through the first steps of creating with your toddler! Find out tons of ways to cut down on the mess and stress of getting crafty with young kids! Learn more here!
Arts and Crafts with Toddlers ebook on Lalymom


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  1. Hahaha – we got the rice on the floor effect too!! (might try a drop sheet or just stick it outdoors next time ! lol!) And you are right – the simple activities/bins are the best! Anna @ Kids Play Space

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