Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Boredom Buster - (aka that time I was glad I trusted my gut)

I am trying to expose Matthew to different textures. He's very particular about what he touches and if it's not on his terms, he won't do it. He particularly doesn't like it if something sticks to him. Like, he wouldn't play with stickers for months after I first introduced them to him. Like, he'll stick his hands in a puddle, but if any leaves or dirt from the puddle remain on his hands when he pulls them out, he's mad.

And like today. A friend and I both posted pictures on instagram of our 2 year olds playing in the mud. Her little girl, decked out in a darling little dress, was covered head to toe in mud and looked to be loving it. My little boy was standing NEXT to the mud, pouring water to make MORE mud, but not actually touching it.

And, we're still working to find creative things to fill the extra inside time. So, we tromped off to Walmart today for some supplies.

I bought a plastic tub with a lid, a shovel and a rake from the dollar bins, and a bag of rice, thinking I'd let him pour and shovel and rake through the rice to his heart's content, exposing him to a different (but not sticky!) texture, and letting him work on his coordination and motor skills at the same time. If you wanted to replicate this at home, you may have most of these things already.

The baby pool was a last-minute idea.

Best $10 I have spent in a long time

I'm glad I listened to my gut when it said "Self, this HE is going to make a gigantic mess. He won't play like those cute little kids on Pinterest who keep their activity in their neat little boxes (Who are those children!?) He'll dump and pour and fling and scoop all over the place." Mommy was right.

He still missed a few times, and he received a couple of stern "NO THANK YOUS" when he pitched some over the side on purpose, but overall, this was a breeze to clean up. He stayed in the pool, he played for nearly an hour with pouring and scooping and sifting, and then when we were done, I dumped the pool contents back into the tub and only had to run the little stick sweeper around the living room to get the stray pieces. My plan is to swap the rice for other textures like sand and corn and beans and fish tank pebbles throughout the summer. I rescued a couple of boxes full of packing peanuts from a package DH received too, intending to put them in the box sometimes. I intend to use the pool to contain all sorts of messes, throughout the summer.

Tip: I used a 10lb bag of rice and I opted for a wide shallow box so that he'd have some room to move the rice around. It was deep enough for him to scoop into but no so deep that he could make a gigantic mess. It was also *ALMOST* heavy enough to prevent him from moving the clear box the rice started in, (he tried to dump it over). As he pitched rice out, he could move it and would have dumped it if I had not stopped him, so I may make it a tiny bit heavier next time.

Reader Question: Do you make sensory boxes? What do you put in them? What have been hits and misses with your kids?

Here's one last picture just because they make me laugh. She was concerned about what he was doing, but she also REALLY wanted to eat the raw rice. Weird dog.


  1. The only thing I've done like that is with a mini muffin pan and beans. She had fun putting the beans into the muffin pan but it made a pretty big mess. I didn't think to put her in a pool!

  2. Ha, ha! Awesome idea! I haven't done too much of this, though we did try finger-writing in rice and then shaving cream. Looks fun!! (I remember Jan G. recommending something like this once!)