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Scented Rice Sensory Play

Not long ago I published a post on our Strawberry Theme Birthday Party, we had a sensory tub full of rice for party friends to search for their prizes from our treasure hunt game.  Here I have reused the strawberry scented rice to create a sensory play table with all kinds of tools to explore with.

What you will need?

You will need rice, strawberry essence, colouring and a range of scoops, shovels, sifts, funnels or any other containers you may have.  You sometimes find these kinds of equipment for the beach and making sandcastles.

We have an activity table with edges up the sides so the rice will not fall off the table, but you could alternatively use a large plastic container/tub for this sensory play.

Let’s Experiment 

I love sensory play as it is unstructured and allows kids to explore freely.  It is great for all ages, from the very young to big kids.  We all love to play!

Let’s Explore

Sensory play that requires team work, social interactions and problem solving.

Let’s Learn 

Experimenting with new things to see what happens and exploring cause and effect.

Sensory play promotes many learning experiences:

  •  Sensory play encourages children to manipulate and mould materials, building up their fine motor skills and coordination.
  • Sensory play uses all 5 senses, but the sense of touch is often the most frequent. Toddlers and children process information through their senses.  They learn through exploring these.
  • Sensory play is unstructured, open-ended, not product-oriented; it is the purest sense of exploratory learning
  • Self-esteem: sensory play offers kids the opportunity for self-expression because there is no right answer and children feel safe to change or experiment with what they are doing.
  • Language development- experimenting with language and trying new words.
  • Develop social skills: practising negotiation skills, turn taking and sharing. Provides opportunities for working out problems and experimenting with solutions.
  • Encourages Imagination and creative play.

We have also used our Strawberry Scented Rice  for another activity-

Sensory Alphabet Hunt

Click on the image to find out the recipe for scenting the rice and how to play Sensory Alphabet Hunt!

7 thoughts on “Scented Rice Sensory Play”

  1. What fun and such lovely pics to tell the story! My twins absolutely love sensory play with rice, pasta etc but perhaps i should try adding smell to the mix now…thanks for the inspiration!!

  2. Hi Ms Tor can you please tell me how to make that pink rice ……. do you just add the coloring ……. do you mix the coloring with water …… do you let it dry

    1. Any rice is good for this kind of activity, I generally use jasmine rice only because I like the smell of it. White rice is best for colouring.
      I basically put the dry rice into a container and gradually add small amounts of pink food colouring and mix it through with a spoon until I am happy with coverage and colour. I do not heat it in the oven at all. If the rice seems a little too damp, I place it uncovered in the sun to dry out a little. The rice naturally absorbs the liquid and tends to feel dry to touch.
      The strawberry essence is used in cooking much like vanilla essence that is used in cakes/biscuits and can be found in the shopping isle alongside food colouring, vanilla essence and other cake decorating and cooking items.
      I hope this helps but please feel free to email again if you need to.

  3. Very educative site. Am sure my 3 year old daughter, will definitely get excited and benefited while playing with these activities. I was not aware of making dough at home..simple and very creative one. Thank you so much for publishing !!!

  4. Where can I get a raised edges activity table like this one you have here? I found a couple on Amazon, but they are not as colorful as yours.

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Picture of Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

My name is Janice and I am an Early Childhood Teacher in Australia.

I have a strong passion and love for teaching and creating meaningful learning experiences for my students. What I love most is watching children discover in those amazing light bulb moments. I hope Learning4kids brings you some useful ideas.

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