Friday, January 18, 2013

Sensory play: Chocolate Rice

St. Valentines day is approaching fast, and here is a fun sensory activity that engages not only your child's sense of touch, but also smell. And who doesn't love the sweet smell of chocolate?

We just took this great idea and tried it in our house. So simple! First, we made the chocolate rice. I don't have chocolate extract, but I used chocolate powder, just added a couple of teaspoons to approximately 2 cups of rice. I didn't add water this time, only mixed the powder with rice. Still chocolaty, but I think more messy. I put the rice in a heart shaped cake mold, and added a few heart cookie cutters for a simple chocolate sensory activity.

I usually arrange these potentially messy activities on the kitchen floor. I put a warm towel and let Santino sit and play with rice.

I showed Santino how to write in this rice, or how to make hear shapes. For a few minutes he picked up the rice and let it run through his fingers, enjoying its texture and smell. He ignored the cookie cutters, but told me they were "hearts". I was not surprised, as we have been practicing shapes for a while now and he learned pretty much all their names long time ago.

Then he went downstairs to his playroom and brought up 2 dinosaurs, his favorite toys these days. Dinosaurs made footprints and ate the rice (Santino was stuffing the rice grains in the dinosaurs' mouths, saying "eat it").

He also tried to make his own footprints in the rice.

And then he noticed I keep snapping pictures of him, so he insisted on having it. And I let him. I knew he was going to take a few of his own. And he did, looky here.

This was a short but fun play, about 15-20 minutes. The cleanup was a breeze. After Santino took a few photos and went downstairs to play with trucks, I just poured the chocolate rice in a ziplock bag and put it away until we decide to play again.