Aeryn, Ben and I had a blast this week! I’ve been thinking of new sensory activities to try and finally got around to making rainbow rice.
All you need is some basic dry white rice, food colouring or liquid watercolour, plastic bags and a little water! You add a little colour and rice to each bag and mix it to ensure even coverage. Then open the bags overnight, or spread on a baking sheet, to allow the rice to dry.
We filled a big plastic storage bin with the rice and got out funnels, jugs, slotted spoons, ladles and a whole bunch of other stuff to play with. Aeryn was so excited! She got straight into the box and started spooning up the rice, mixing the colours, throwing it around – she loved it! (It didn’t taste as good as it looked, though!)
After a while, though, the initial excitement wore off and she started to really focus on the different objects in the box and what she could actually do. She started lifting, pouring, filling different cups and shifting the rice back and forth, noticing that some cups hold more than others.
It is beautiful to watch her play this way. She concentrates and becomes completely absorbed for much longer than you would think a 17 month old could. And at the centre of her play, the first mathematical concepts of volume and capacity begin to unfold.
This is why I love home education – the moments of play and self direction that create ways of thinking. We are seeing the world through a whole new lens, where learning and life aren’t separate things.