Last week I set up some edible sensory play for babies by dumping a load of Rice Kripies that had just gone out of a date into a tray and placing the tray in our tuff spot (to try and contain some of the mess).
Cereal makes a great sensory play item for babies as it’s cheap, safe to be eaten or mouthed (always supervise though) and makes a lovely crunch sound between fingers.
For this baby sensory play I used the following items (affiliate links):
- Small tray to put everything in
- Cereal (I used cheap own brand Rice Krispies)
- Jumbo Tweezers
- Spoons, scoops and pots
- Tuff Spot
As a big lover of food the first thing Baby J did was grab handfuls of the Rice Krispies and shovel them in his mouth. After a few mouthfuls though he changed to just feeling them in his hands before moving on to playing with the spoons. Even big sister had a taste as well but was more interested in playing than eating after that.
He even began to start scooping using the spoon which was great practice for him as he’s started trying to feed himself foods that need a spoon, such as yoghurt, but hasn’t quite mastered it yet…
And when faced with something so crunchy who can resist taking your socks off and trying it out with your bare feet? I didn’t expect her to do this but G thought it was hilarious and so meant that this was a sensory bin we wouldn’t be re-using!
I was surprised how much G enjoyed playing with this edible sensory bin. As she turns 4 at the end of this month I thought she might start to lose interest in something so simple as this but she actually played with it along side her little brother for over an hour!
After a nap Baby J came back to play with the tray again, this time alone and he enjoyed exploring the new contents of the tray added by his sister….a randomly selection of toys!
Yes the Rice Krispies did get everywhere and I’m still finding some days later but it was quick to clean up and both had a lot of fun. We’ve got some supermarket own brand Cheerios in the cupboard that no one seems to like so I think next time I might use those.
Using Food in Sensory Play
I know that using food for sensory play is often hotly debated and is a whole other post but here is a list of pros and cons from Tinkerlab and I love this one on Using Food in the Classroom from Lisa Murphy at Ooey Gooey. I have personally found allowing young children to play with food in a sensory bin actually helped them to overcome eating issues caused by them not wanting to touch certain textured food. When using food in sensory bins I am to re-use it over and over such as dried rice, pasta, beans etc or if it’s close to it’s expiry date and unlike to be used before then.
Areas of Learning
Sensory bins can cover lots of areas in the EYFS and are especially good for mixed ages. Some of the areas it may cover could include:
- Communication & Language – strong exploratory impulse, concentrating on object of own choosing
- Physical Development – fine and gross motor skills, passing toys from one hand to another, enjoying sensory experiences
- Maths – counting, sorting, talking about patterns, shapes and size
- Personal, Social & Emotional Development – playing alongside others, engages other in play
- Expressive Arts & Design – imaginative and small world play, describing textures, making sounds.