Zel seemed a little bored with his toys this morning so I looked around for something I could put together quickly. Zel still talks about the dry rice and beans that we used to make egg shakers, so I grabbed them out of the cabinet. Scooping and pouring is a great learning activity for kids, so I thought I'd let him do just that. I used a baking sheet as a tray and found a few differently sized containers from Zel's play kitchen. Then I found a great container with lots of compartments that I used when he was an infant for freezing homemade baby food. I filled each container with a different material (I used rice, lentils, and bread crumbs). Then I gave him a coffee scoop and a small spoon and asked him to try to fill up the compartments. He did that for a while then focused his efforts on transferring the materials between the various containers. Then he got a little crazy and began flinging beans and rice across the room. So we got out the mini dust buster and I let him try to suck up all the pieces. It was a great searching game as well as practice using his fine motor skills.
Now that we had used all this dried food, I didn't want to just throw it away. I remembered that we just finished a roll of paper towels, so we decided to make a rain stick.
Here's what you'll need:
- paper towel roll
- dryer sheet
- 2 rubber bands
- aluminum foil
- dried beans or other dried food like rice
Cut the dryer sheet in half and cover one end of the cardboard tube. Wrap a rubber band around it to keep it in place. Rip up some pieces of aluminum foil and crumple into long pieces. Put the crumpled aluminum and dried beans (or whatever you are using) into the cardboard tube.
Close up the other side with the other half of the dryer sheet and the other rubber band. You could also have your child decorate the cardboard tube first for even more excitement.