Playing with Rice

I have used uncooked rice over the years to make rattles and ‘musical’ instruments, but the other day, as A was lamenting her rather soggy sand pit in the rainy garden, I had the idea of using rice to play with.  I got a large tray and gave her different things to scoop and pour with and gave her a bowl of rice; maybe half a small packet.

The result was amazing.  She loved it.  She scooped and tipped and rolled her hands in it and sat at the table for twenty minutes (which trust me is a very long time for her) happily playing by herself.  She has named it her ‘indoor sand pit’ and we have had it out quite a few times since.

It can be a bit messy and the last time we had it out, A did tip most of the rice on the floor, but it is easy to sweep or hoover up, so it wasn’t a problem at all.

I have no doubt that other people have done this before, but it is a new activity in this house, so I thought that I would share it as we enjoyed it so much. (A enjoyed playing, mummy enjoyed watching her play independently whilst drinking a cup of tea that was still hot!)



  1. April 30, 2012 / 1:35 pm

    That is a fab idea – I think they used to do this at pre-school with Maisie! Something I will definitely try when Maxwell is a few months older x

  2. April 30, 2012 / 3:02 pm

    A great idea. The simple things in life are often the best.

  3. Lisa
    April 30, 2012 / 5:03 pm

    Good idea! H is still a bit young and would no doubt try and swallow the rice instead of playing with it, but one to keep in mind!

    • April 30, 2012 / 8:37 pm

      Yes, there is always the possibility of them trying to eat it! Luckily A hasn’t tried to yet!

  4. April 30, 2012 / 5:09 pm

    Great idea ive only used rice as a musical instrument before so this is great! Also, like you say, its not a big deal to clean up either!

    • April 30, 2012 / 8:38 pm

      It isn’t and I have had to clear up quite a few times x

  5. April 30, 2012 / 7:58 pm

    It’s lovely isn’t it when you find something that somehow appeals directly to a child and absorbs them for ages.

    I used to have a rice table in the corner of the room – it was okay until we had other children visiting and you couldn’t watch them all at once, it went everywhere! I also tried mung beans as we had some that were out of date, they were worse and just pinged about all over the place. Now we use dried penne pasta which I would also recommend as the value bags are really cheap and it’s much easier to pick up. Now that my youngest can pull up to it she does treat it as her own personal buffet though!

    • April 30, 2012 / 8:39 pm

      That’s a great idea, I will get some of that! Always good for making things with too!

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