Construct a super fun and engaging rainbow rice maze run sensory bin for your toddler or preschooler. It takes a little time to create but will entertain them for days!
Fun Sensory Bin
For this activity I combined a few tubes together with duct tape and added coloured rice. It was an absolute hit with my then 2 year old. She played with it for several days making it well worth the small engineering effort it took to get it to work.
I encourage you to give this one a try and you will forever be known as the best mom, dad, grandma, grandpa or caregiver ever. Make sure you take lots of photos of it so that you can marvel at your own genius!
Supplies for Rice Maze Run Sensory Bin
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- Sensory bin
- Duct Tape
- Cardboard Tubes (large and small)
- Coloured Rice (see recipe below)
- Measuring Cups
How to Make A Rice Maze Run Sensory Bin
Grab your cardboard tubes including paper towel rolls and rolls from wrapping paper. Cut the shorter tubes or paper towel roll length wise to open them up. This will allow your little one to be able to see the rainbow rice as it flows down.
Next, construct a maze run similar to one you could make for a marble. Make tape the tubes at a fairly steep angle so that the rice continues to flow all the way down. You may need to adjust the angle as your little one plays if the rice starts to get stuck. Attached the shorter tubes to the longer tubes using duct tape.
Once you have constructed the maze run, use duct tape to secure it upright to the bottom of your sensory bin.
Next fill your sensory bin with rainbow rice.
Add measuring cup and scoopers. Cover your floor with an old sheet or table cloth to make clean up easier and invite your little one to play!
Here are some tips I learned from doing this Rainbow Rice Maze Run Sensory Bin with my two year old:
- Make sure you set out the rules for sensory bin play up front. Tell your toddler or preschooler that the rice is to stay in the bin as much as possible. But remember rice will come out of the sensory bin. To help you with clean up tape a plastic tablecloth underneath the sensory bin to catch the rice that comes out. Secure the plastic tablecloth to the floor using masking tape. That way you can relax a bit and let them enjoy their play.
- Keep the duct tape handy. You may need to do some touch up here and there to each structure so keep the duct tape handy. I found that as she played the structures occasionally became unstable. I had to re-secure each structure a few times using the duct tape.
- Set the activity up in a spot out of the way. With all the effort you put in to make this amazing activity you will want them to play with it for more than just one day! Set it aside in an out-of-the-way spot in your house so that you can pull it out easily again so that they can play it with for a few days.
My favourite supplies for this sensory bin
How to Make Rainbow Colored Rice
What You’ll Need
- 1 Cup of White Rice
- 1/2 tsp White Vinegar
- Several Drops of Gel Food Coloring
- Large Ziploc Bags
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Sheets or Tupperware containers
How to Make
- Combine the rice, white vinegar and food coloring in a Ziploc bag.
- Seal it carefully and mix the contents throughly.
- Repeat for each color.
- Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet or line a Tupperware container.
- Spread the colored rice out on the parchment paper and allow it to dry overnight.
If you don’t have gel food coloring, regular food coloring will work fine. If you want your rice to be more vibrant add more than just a few drops of food coloring and a small amount of white vinegar. Although the instructions calls for 1 cup of rice I usually make between 6-7 cups of rice for a sensory bin.
This activity is great for kids 2 years and up. My kids are 4, 4, and 7 year old.
Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids
Boring afternoons are made exciting with awesome animal-based bins, like Salty Shark Bay or Yarn Farm. Pretend play bins like Birthday Cake Sensory Play or Bubble Tea Party encourage creativity and imagination. And your kids will have so much fun they won’t even know they’re getting smarter with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities like Sink or Float Soup, Magnetic Letter Hunt or Ice Cream Scoop and Count.
Make quiet time their favourite time!
Play is at the core of learning during the early years and it can take many forms. One of the most important of these is sensory play because it engages all of a child’s senses (taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing) and has a enoumous positive impact on brain development.
My Sensory Play Kits are a fun and easy way to keep your child engaged while at the same time capitalizing on the benefits of sensory play to nurture their mind!
Shop my ready made sensory play kits here.
STEAM Activity Book
Looking for a fun activity book for your preschooler? Check out my new book Super STEAM Activity Book: Launch Learning with Fun Mazes, Dot-to-Dots, Search-the-Page Puzzles, and More! ! Click here to learn more or order it now!