I colored rice for the base of this bin. I used five pounds of rice, vinegar, and food coloring. I was wanting a mixture of red, pink and white rice, but unfortunately I didn't have enough red food coloring. I still liked how it turned out though. It is a mixture of white rice and two different shades of pink. I also added red glass stones, pompoms, rose petals, a TON of various beads, a heart shaped light up eraser, a Valentine's Day spinning top, the heart shaped containers, various foam shapes, curling ribbon, a red pipe cleaner, a spoon, and magnetic letters to make the "I love you."
R loves just running his hand through the rice. He also transfers the rice into the heart containers. He threads the beads onto the pipe cleaner. He squeezes the eraser to make it light up. He spins the top. He does transferring activities with the pompoms and stones as well. Not only is this sensorial, but he also gets to practice different grasps and practical life skills. We also hide all of the magnetic letters under the rice. He then has to find them and we spell out "I love you" all over again. He has played with it so much the last few days. And when he isn't playing in it, he is talking about playing in it.
He has had sensory bins for about two years now and even when he was younger, he never really made a mess with them. The possibility of a huge mess has always been there, of course, but we have always reminded him that he can't make a mess with it. I trust him with his sensory bins and he is not always closely supervised when playing with them. I also trust him with art materials and he has free access to most things. Yesterday, however, he reminded me that he is still a child and messes will happen. It was a wild child sort of day. He was testing us in various ways throughout the day and I should have known it was coming. In a way, I kind of did. I needed to get some cleaning done and before leaving him to play I really stressed not making a mess. More so than usual. I reminded him that he would be the one cleaning it up and asked him if he understood. He said he did and wouldn't make a mess.
He did. He had started transferring the rice to other containers around his playroom. His face was priceless when I walked back in. Mine probably was too. He said "I know, I know! I'll clean it upppp!" And he did for awhile. He grew tired of cleaning it up and did some protesting. At one point he came out of the room and shut the door quickly. I asked him what he was doing and he said "I'm done." I said "ohhh, really, well that's great. I'd like to go see.." and I started to open the door. He stepped in front of me and said "No, no, I don't want to go look."
"Well, I'm going to go look."
"No, no.. not done. I'll go cleeaannn." *sigh*
I guess it was overdue.