Hiding toys in rice, beans or pasta is one of our favorite sensory games. All you need is a plastic bin, some small toys and dried beans and you’ve got a fun after school activity! Ivan likes to feel the rice or beans run through his fingers, scoop them with measuring cups or run them through funnels. He likes to find his toys then hide them under the rice again.
But I was thinking it might be time to come up with something a little different.
My first thought was to glue the toys to the bottom of the bin so that they couldn’t get away. It might be fun to see how the rice or beans move around a stationary toy rather than something that is free moving.
Then I saw some other activities online with salt and that made me think that it was time to change up our ingredients too!
So we created a new game we’re calling “Sugar Search!”
I thought sugar might be more fun (because Ivan likes to lick his fingers and sugar just tastes nicer than salt) and instead of gluing the toys to the bottom of the bin I glued them to cardstock so we could change our game and not have to buy new bins.
Here’s how to make your own Sugar Search Game….
What You’ll Need:
- a plastic bin with a lid
- bright cardstock
- glue (a glue gun works well)
- small toys with a theme (we went with shapes)
- paint brushes
Making Your Sugar Search Game
- Cut your cardstock to fit into the bottom of the plastic bin. You can cut out multiple cards so you can change your game when ever you want. If your child has low vision it’s a good idea to pick a brightly colored cardstock so the toys can show up in high contrast and the paper can show nicely through the sugar.
- Glue your objects to the cardstock. It’s fun to go with a theme (like nature or shapes), but you can do what ever seems the most fun. The more three-dimensional your objects the easier it’ll be for your child to find them under the sugar.
- Once the glue is dry, fill up the bin with sugar. You can use salt if you like (both have a nice fine texture), but we went with sugar because Ivan will inevitably put his fingers in his mouth and sugar fingers taste better than salt fingers! Of course, his favorite part of this game was dipping the paint brush in the sugar then licking it off!
- Let your child explore the bin and try to find the shapes hidden under the sugar. Once you find them, can you bury them again? It’s also fun to use paint brushes to slowly sweep the sugar away from the hidden shapes, like an archaeologist. You can also use the paint brushes to expose the bright paper under the white sugar. Ivan also enjoyed covering his hands in the sugar.
- When you’re done just pop the lid back on your bin and you can put the game away until you’re ready to play again!