OT Activity of the Day
Rice/Bean Sensory Bin
Target age range: 2 and up, again, as soon as your child won't eat the rice or beans this is a great activity to introduce.
As OTs we love our "sensory bins". These are bins that are filled with dried rice or dried beans or water beads or dirt or any other tactile modality that your child enjoys to touch and explore. (You can also use a sensory bin to expose a more "tacitly sensitive" child to these textures in a more controlled way. As with the shaving cream, they can play with the texture and tolerate it without having to touch what makes them uncomfortable).
I've put together a rice/bean bin, which is like an indoor sandbox. This is a great way to work on fine motor development and also have fun. Pictured in the bin are beads that can be strung, tops that can be twisted on and off, scissor tongs, small animals and a scoop. However, as with other activities, don't feel constrained to just these manipulatives. Recycle old items into the bin! For example, I am using an old spice container and protein scooper that have been cleaned and repurposed:).
Initially allow your child to just play in the rice and see what they come up with. If after a few minutes you'd like to engage them a bit more, "challenge" them to complete 2 out of the 3 activities that you have placed in the bin. For example, "How many beads can you string?" or "How many animals can you collect with the scissor tongs?". Time them if you want, children loved to be timed. All in all, if your child plays with all of these items pictured, they will be improving fine motor manipulation, scissor skills, and wrist/forearm rotation.
Rice and beans that have escaped the bin are easily cleaned up with a vacuum.