December 3, 2010

Christmas Sensory Box

The first advent calender surprise for my kiddos was this sensory box. It was very much inspired by the amazing sensory tubs of Mari-Ann at Counting Coconuts . I used a nice rectangular plastic container (available form the local plastic shop), coloured rice, ornaments, nicknacks from my Christmas decoration's box and some yummy Father Christmas chocolates.

To colour the rice, I simply took dry uncooked rice and slowly added red food colouring. I mixed it thoroughly and when I was happy with the colour, let it air dry in the bowl. I have read on the net about oven drying coloured rice, but this worked very nicely and I didn't have to go near the oven :). Thanks Trudie for the tip.

The baubles were carefully selected to teach some new concepts: shiny and dull (or matt), big and small, as well as silver and gold. I intentionally used different textures is a sensory box after all! So there is hard and soft items and I included plastic, wood, wool, fabric and paper! The tinsel tickles (tactile), the chocolates smell (olfactory) and taste yummy (oral), the small bells ring (auditory) and the whole box provides lots of visual stimulation. The rice is, of course, also part of the sensory fun and by adding a spoon and cup, lots of scooping and pouring can happen. Having said all this, the trick is to spend some time with your child playing with the sensory box. Little One loses interest quite quickly, unless I join in on the fun. I must add that even Big One enjoyed this box.

I need to warn you, this gets messy! I am trying to teach Little One to keep the rice in the container, but it's difficult to really enjoy this activity without a bit of mess. To keep me sane, 'cause I'm a bit of a neat freak, I have a Dustbuster. Pick n Pay sell an AEG model for R189. I think this is the best money I have ever spent!

Happy playing till next time :)

PS. “Come over to play at the Childhood 101 We Play link up”


JDaniel4's Mom said...

This looks like hours of fun! I love all the things you placed in it.

Trudie said...

Glad that it turned out so cool!

Counting Coconuts said...

Oh this is just so much fun! I love the red rice - I'm with you, I don't go to any lengths to dry it specially. Just dye and air dry. :)

I like how you provided a lot of items to compare and contrast and who doesn't love chocolate?!

Well done, Mama!


amandab said...

I wish I had a dust buster@ :(

It looks like a goreous box, and I love the shade of red you managed to get the rice!

I hae some left over decorations in the cupboard, so I might se what I can put together this week :)

Donette said...

This looks like so much fun!

Christie - Childhood 101 said...

What a lovely festive sensory box. I always put our rice play down in the middle of a large tablecloth spread on the floor, then it is just a matter of scooping up the edges to shake all the rice back together.

Love and Lollipops said...

Thank you so much ladies for all the lovely comments!

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