Rice play is a different version of water play or playing in a sandbox. It's great for any age. Even I find it calming to play with! It is a good activity for those times when you are stuck inside and not as messy (for me) as water play. I don't know about anybody else, but when my kids play with the water it is all over the place!
Here is what you need:
- Floor covering (sheet, blanket, plastic table cloth, etc.) - something to catch the rice when it falls out of the bucket, so you can clean it up easier.
- Container of some sort (plastic tub, box with plastic lining, etc). I used a 34 qt container, because that is all I had.
- 5 to 10 lbs of long grain rice. (The long grain is easier to clean up)
- Play cups, spoons, and a couple handfuls of any small random toys
- A container or bag to store it in after you are done to save for another day.
Poor it all into the container and have fun! The kids usually get creative on their own, but here are a few suggestions: pretend the rice is food and put on plates, in cups, etc., sprinkle, or play hide 'n seek. I found that I could teach phrases that I take for granted like sprinkle, pack, pour and pair them with the action. It was easier to do with rice than with other things. Supervision is needed. They seem to forget to hold the rice over the bucket without reminders.
My son working on his sprinkling technique!
I used a 34 qt container because that is all I had. A friend came over while we were playing, so I know this size works for 3 kids and will most likely work well with 4 kids at a time. I also only used a 5 lb bag of rice and it worked nice, but I think I am going to add more next time so we can actually hide stuff in it.