My daughter loves sensory play and this simple Ocean themed sensory bin was a great way to keep her entertained.
This sensory play idea is easy to set up and, very importantly, only takes a minute to clean up afterwards too, always helpful with activities for toddlers!
I also used a tip from a reader to colour the rice which I’ll share with you below.
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What You'll Find on This Page
Ocean Sensory Bin Materials
Blue Food Colouring
How to Dye Rice for Sensory Play
I try to dye rice in advance by mixing some food dye into the rice and leaving it out to dry, however I know that in reality I very rarely remember to do it in time!
After posting about this problem Emma from They Grow So Quick pointed out that you can dry the rice on a low heat in the bottom of your oven. I tried it out this time and it worked perfectly!
Ideas for Playing with your Ocean Themed Sensory Bin
This activity kept my two year old daughter busy for over an hour and once we finished I put it away before bringing it out again a week later when she loved playing with it again.
The rice is cool to touch and we made our animals splash through the sea. Along with the animals I also normally add a couple of bowls and spoons in similar colours and my daughter enjoyed scooping and pouring with these.
We are also working on her speech development at the moment so this was a great opportunity to encourage her to use the names for each of the animals as well as doing activities such as the seahorse is on the bowl, under the bowl, in the bowl etc and of course where is the seahorse when we covered him in rice!