Christmas Tree Sensory Bin using Colored Rice

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Christmas season is here and with that, we created this fun sensory bin using colored rice. follow this quick guide and recreate this fun sensory bun to work on fine motor skills for toddlers.

Benefits of Rice for Sensory Bins

Colored rice provides an opportunity for children to explore fine motor skills such as transferring and pouring.

  • Sensory bins are hands-on learning tools for children to explore their world through the senses. They encourage exploration while incorporating a variety of senses: touch, sight, sounds, taste, and smell for children to learn and explore.
  • Sensory bins encourage language development: When playing with a sensory bin, it offers the opportunity to work on language development, it offers opportunities to discuss hidden objects.
  • Sensory bins work on fine motor skills: When children use their hands and fingers to explore the items in a bin, improve fine motor skills through scooping, grasping, stirring, and pouring with a variety of tools.

How to make Christmas Colored Rice

Christmas sensory bin

Our Christmas sensory bin base is colored rice. Follow the below recipe to color the rice using food coloring. You will need to make a batch of red and a batch of green rice for this Christmas color rice bin.

Set up your Christmas Sensory Bin

To set up the bin, color your rice and let it dry. Then place it onto a tray or sensory tub.

The next step is to add the embellishments. What are the kids going to play with to engage their creative senses? We chose to keep it simple. Wooden Christmas trees and jingle bells.

Fine Motor work through Play

Besides transferring skills, I also wanted the kids to work on using tongs. Tongs are a great pre-writing skill tool that will help them strengthen the muscles in the hand and fingers.

I provided a wooden bucket to pick up the bells as well as the tongs to encourage play.

Variations of Play

Both our trees and our bells were purchased at the dollar store. If you do not have the exact same materials, you can customize your bin. You do not need to get the exact materials as I do, after making the rice just add any small Christmas toys you have around.

Kitchen tongs are great tongs to use – you do not need to get the small wooden ones to work on this pre-writing skill.

Platic bowls also work great for sensory bins. Wooden bowls are not a requirement.

Use what you have at home and have fun!

Anticipate the mess

Don’t forget that rice can and will fall on the floor no matter how careful your toddler is. Place a towel, a big sheet, or a messy mat to catch any spills.

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