Big Rice Sensory Bin – Fun for Kids Ages 2-10!

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Rather than making a dish to share for this year’s family Easter celebration, I opted for something pretty practical — activities for the kids! While we also set up two crafts, the highlight was definitely the big rice sensory bin we put together.

Big rice sensory bin - fun for a big group of kids!

I don’t need to say much about the rice — probably the first thing I saw on Pinterest than I actually tried! With so many methods out there, we stick to the food coloring and rubbing alcohol. The simple steps for anyone who wants to know:

Rice – I get a 25-lb. bag for about $10 at the club store. It is standard, cheap, Basmati rice.
Rubbing Alcohol – again at the club store, 70% is fine.
Food Coloring – we use the standard 4-pack and a “bold” set. Wilton Gel Colors work great, too.
Bin – this is a “bus bin” that I have used many times; you can get two for under $15.
Scoops, bowls, and simple paper party cups

1. Put 2-3 cups of rice in a gallon Ziploc bag
2. Add up to 10 drops of food coloring or a small amount of Wilton Gel Colors
3. Add just a little rubbing alcohol, probably 1 tablespoon per cup of rice. But you can always add more!
4. Shake it up, smash and squish it around until it is all mixed.
5. Then I just leave the bags open and put them in the garage; I stir them a little, but they dry out and have no smell remaining after just a couple days.

One quick note — I have seen people do not like this method because it wastes bags — I find that they barely even have any residue leftover so they are really easy to reuse.

Anyway, back to Easter; I made 10 different colors and laid them down in a ‘stripy’ pattern the best I could. Snap a picture – it won’t last! The kids of course liked to use kitchen items to play with the rice — scoops, bowls, cups, spoons, etc.

As the title said, this intrigued eight children ages 2-10 for over an hour. An hour!! That’s saying something. Pretty soon into it it became apparent that each kid wanted a container of their own, so my handy uncle found several good things from around the house. Then as kids dropped off others kept finding new ways to play, including SITTING in the bin.

One thing I just had to do was take a picture of the aftermath. I don’t feel like you see that enough! It was pretty easy to clean with a standard broom, but a vacuum would speed up the process even more.

For around $10, this huge rice sensory bin was more than worth it. I am already thinking of ideas for sensory bins for the next family get together!!

Linked up over at Motivation Monday, Everything Early Childhood Link Up, Good Tips Tuesday, and Kitchen Fun & Crafty Friday!

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