Archive of ‘9-12 Months’ category

Rose Scented Rice Valentine’s Day Sensory Bin

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, I know! Life got in the way of creating fabulous blog posts. Lucky for you guys, I made a massive list of posts I wanted to create in my absence, so I have plenty of material waiting to be created. Hopefully there won’t be any more long breaks around here!

Things have changed, we’re in our new house, the new baby is here and we’ve adjusted to all of it! I’m excited to start sharing with you guys again! Since Valentine’s day is fast approaching, I thought I’d kick off blogging again with a great idea for the holiday. This activity had my first-grade niece asking me if I had any more cool creations while she was here the other day it was so much fun, while my 4-year-old nephew and Peanut were elbow deep in it.

Rose Scented Valentine's Day Sensory Bin

*2 bags of uncooked white rice
*Food coloring
*One gallon ziplock bags
*Rose Absolute Essential Oil
*Various valentine’s day items, such as:
Rose Petals
Felt Roses
-Plastic heart shaped bracelets
-Anything you have around the house that relates to Valentine’s day or roses!

This activity does take some preparation, but it’s worth it in the end! The day before you want to introduce this sensory bin, prepare your rice. It’s simple to do, you just need some time for it to dry or your little ones will end up with fingers dyed the color of your rice.

How to:

1. Select your food coloring. I used one food dye to get the dark pink and light pink in this sensory bin, I just used a different method of dying for both.

2. Dye our rice using one of two methods:

Dying method #1:

Dry Rice Dying Method
Step 1: Add 10-12 drops of food coloring to an empty one gallon ziplock bag.
Step 2: Add one bag of uncooked rice to the ziplock bag.
Step 3: Add 10-20 drops of essential oil and drizzle a bit more food coloring to the top of your rice.
Step 4: Seal the bag and shake until your food coloring & the EO is mixed in and the rice is dyed.
Step 5: Lay the rice out on a cookie sheet or some parchment paper. Spread it out to a thin layer and dry over night.

Dying method #2: To create the lighter color, dye your rice using vinegar.

Vinegar rice dying methodStep 1: Add about a cup of vinegar to an empty one gallon ziplock bag.
Step 2: Add 10-20 drops of food coloring to the vinegar along with 10-20 drops of essential oil. Mix the vinegar until the food coloring is evenly distributed.
Step 3: Add one bag of rice to the ziplock bag. Seal and shake.
Step 4: When the color is evenly distributed, use a fine mesh strainer and drain the rice over the sink. Let sit for 10-15 minutes so the excess vinegar can drain off.
Step 5: When the vinegar is drained, spread on a cookie sheet or parchment paper in a thin layer and dry over night. Mix rice up from time to time, if possible, to ensure it drys evenly.

3. When your rice is good and dry, add it to a shallow, long tub. Add your Valentine’s goodies, and let your littles have at it!

Rose Scented Valentine's Sensory Bin

4. Tip: Place your tub on a table cloth so the rice stays a bit more contained. When your kiddos are done playing, gather the rice in the middle of the table cloth and put it back in the sensory bin!

5. When you’re done, the rice can be saved and used again as often as you feel comfortable!

What was said while we played:
Peanut’s vocabulary has exploded since the last time I posted! We talk about all kinds of stuff and she give me all kinds of great responses! When she dove into this activity she kept telling me, “Me having very fun, Mommy!”

I asked her, “What color is the rice?”, “How does it smell?”, “What are you doing with the rice?”, “What else can you do with it?” I also let her ask me questions about what she was playing with. She did ask me what it was when she first started playing. She spent a lot of time repeating the color back while she was playing and also picking up the small roses and telling me what they were, once I had identified them for her.

5 Things to do With Your Toddler When You’re Moving

5 Ways to Entertain Your Toddler When MovingIt became clear very early in the moving process that Peanut was going to make my job more difficult. A LOT more difficult. When I started trying to pack, no matter what super fun activity I set out for her to do, she was much more interested in what I was doing and unpacking everything I put in the box or adding unwanted surprises to the box. I almost packed up a cup of grapes she snuck in at one point….so, I had to get a bit more creative and find a way for Peanut to get involved in moving.

The good news is, I was successful. I found a few activities that kept her busy and feeling like she was helping Mommy out. Unfortunately, I was so busy I didn’t always get pictures so I’ll try to explain it well! Also, tell us of any ideas you had while moving that kept your toddler entertained and out of trouble!

1. Big box coloring. I found a giant box Peanut would have a hard time getting out of, threw in some markers (since she doesn’t get to use markers very often I knew she’d be excited about it), stripped her down to her diaper, and put her in the box. I took the cap off a few of the markers and showed her how she could color all over the box. She happily started repeating “color” over and over and making a master piece in the box.

5 Ways to Entertain Your Toddler When Moving

2. Big box stickers. The big box worked out so well at keeping Peanut contained where I knew she wouldn’t get into something and get hurt that I wanted to use it for something else. So, what else do toddlers love besides markers? Stickers! I grabbed some sheets and put Peanut in the box with a variety of her favorite stickers. She had so much fun. To make the activity independent I folded the sticker pages back so she could grab the stickers without my help. Before she was done, she had all kinds of stickers all over the box and her self…but she was happy and I got stuff done!

5 Ways to Entertain Your Toddler When Moving

3. Box races. Peanut came up with this idea on her own and I just encouraged it. When she stole my empty box I was just about to start filling and ran away pushing it all over. I put her baby doll in the box and told her to push her baby. When she was done pushing her baby, I had her push the markers around, which made a fun sound in the box. When she was done with the markers, I switched out the markers for a stuffed animal. Switching out what she pushed around seems to re-spark her interest in the fun and she discovered what would happen to that item as she pushed it along.

4. Toy packing. After watching me pack away room after room, Peanut really wanted to help and kept trying to put whatever she could find in the box I was filling. I gave her a box of her own, a stack of toys, some newspaper and let her pack away her toys. She packed and unpacked the box several times and it kept her from sneaking surprises into the real moving boxes!

5. Stuffing boxes. This was one of the first things I tried to keep Peanut entertained while I was busy packing. She loved filling the box with newspaper, emptying the box, ripping the paper up and crumpling it up more, then stuffing it back in the box. It kept her entertained for a good long while. She even tipped the box over and crawled in with the newspaper, which she thought was hilarious. It was such a simple way to entertain her, but it worked!

5 Ways to Entertain Your Toddler When Moving

Hopefully these ideas will help keep your toddler out of your hair while you’re packing and moving! We all love our kiddos, but we all know how hard it can be to pack while your little love is trying to undo everything you’re doing or sneak in an extra item (or 10!) into the box!

Now, if you have any tips on getting life back to normal quickly after you’ve moved, I’d love to hear those. We are still trying…but stick with us, we’ll be back at it soon!

Hula-Hoop Ball Roll For Toddlers

What toddler doesn’t love balls? I think “ball” was one of the first 5 words Peanut and all her friends said. They’re just so much fun! This activity incorporates a hula-hoop to trap the balls in and work on refining those gross motor skills.

Hula Hoop Ball Roll For Toddlers


  • A variety of balls, various colors, sizes, textures, and bounciness
  • A hula-hoop

By tossing the balls in the center of the hula-hoop I tried to create a barrier for them that Peanut could attempt to keep the balls in. I knew this was going to be a challenging task, since she’d probably run right up to the hoop and try to fling all the balls around as hard as she cool….which is exactly what she did.

Hula-Hoop Ball Roll for Toddlers

So, I had her chase down the runaway balls and bring them back in the hoop. Then I modeled a gentle roll for her and showed her how it stayed in the hoop. She tried, with a bit too much gusto and the ball still escaped. But, we continued to work on it and eventually she was able to keep the ball she rolled in the hoop sometimes. She liked aiming for other balls and making all of the balls move around in the hoop at once and she also enjoyed chasing the runaways down, claiming they were “crazy!” with big giggle. Peanut also liked picking up the hoop and shaking it around to make the balls move.

We switched out what balls were in the hoop from time to time to see how they acted differently when she rolled them and the balls ran into each other. Some proved impossible to keep in the hoop (even for me!) and some were so bouncy they’d hop right over all the other balls and out of the hoop. Changing the balls out little by little allowed this activity to keep Peanut engaged longer than simply throwing all of the balls in at the same time. Different combinations made for different kinds of fun!

What we talked about in play: 
“There are a lot of balls in the hoop!”
“What color is that one? It’s blue.”
“The red one got away! Go get it and bring it back!”
“Gently roll the ball, like this.”
“That was a nice roll.”
“Look at all the balls rolling around in there!”
“That was a crazy toss!”

This was a simple activity that worked at hand-eye coordination, gross motor for the whole body, and our colors all along the way!

P.S. I also learned, with quick moving activities like this I should use my DSLR instead of my iPhone….all my pictures came out blurry so I don’t have many to share with you, sorry!

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