Scooping Rice: a simple toddler activity that’s quick and easy.
Need a fast toddler activity? Something to occupy the little one and give you a second to breathe? This scooping rice sensory bin has been heaven sent for me and my 19 month old. It keeps her happy, busy, and entertained while I sip my coffee and enjoy the quiet.
Activities like this scooping rice bin are considered “practical life skills”. This activity is teaching toddlers a skill they will use throughout their life using real world items.
Set up this scooping rice bin in seconds!
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Here’s how I set this activity up to maximize success for my toddler: I keep my sensory bin rice stored in a large plastic container which I set right in the storage tub. The high sides of the tub help keep things relatively clean. I added in lots of little scoops, two bowls, and an ice cube tray.
The goal: scoop rice from the large container into the smaller ones.
Teaching a toddler to use sensory bins
Rome and teaching a toddler to play nice with a sensory bin are two things that we definitely not built in a day. My 19 month old has been working with sensory bins since she was about 15 months old. She has had two BIG lessons to learn with these bins: 1. We don’t dump bins 2. We don’t “eat” bins.
It’s taken a few months of learning, but she gets the no dumping part. She doesn’t make a giant mess, but of course, what she does spill is easy to clean with a broom and/or vacuum. It’s worth it for the peace and quiet I get while she plays.
What’s been tougher for my toddler to learn is the “We don’t eat bins” rule. To help her learn, I use taste safe sensory materials with her and keep firm with the rules. With this rice activity, that meant taking 3 breaks from the activity to remember that we don’t eat the rice we are playing with.
It’s worth the work to teach sensory bin etiquette
But oh is it worth the work to “teach” her how to play with sensory bins. This bin bought me about 20 minutes of time without having to do a song and dance routine. It kept her busy, quiet, and engaged.
I don’t leave her unsupervised, but I also don’t interrupt her play. This is her time to explore and learn.
Her time to play and big brother’s (3 years old) time to play too. He was just as captivated by the rice and little scoops as she was!
Try the scooping rice sensory bin with your toddlers!
This bin has been a hit at our house. We’ve kept it up and running for a week now and it still hasn’t gotten old.