I was browsing Pinterest Friday morning, searching for a craft for my 3-year-old since I knew we would be stuck in the apartment most of the day. A few clicks later, I found Spice Painting at Play Create Explore. Fun! Easy! I had Libbie set up to paint with containers of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and sprinkles in just a few minutes.
But I have this other kid, too. And he’s that age where I would love for him to be exploring and trying new activities (he’s a little shy of 15 months). But he definitely cannot do the same things Libbie does.
I tried putting some paint into a ziploc bag and letting him squish it around. This was his reaction.
Then a lightbulb went off in my head as I wandered to the pantry. I would love for David to be able to play with sensory tubs, but he puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. So why not create a sensory tub with objects I wouldn’t worry about him ingesting?
I started with oat bran as a base, where you might use dry rice or sand in a “normal” sensory tub. I then added small edible objects of various sizes: raisins, chocolate cheerios, a few mini m&m candies, and broken-up cracker pieces.
The first thing he did, of course, was stuff some in his mouth. That’s what I get for giving him a spoon to play with, I guess! But since it was just oat bran, no big deal. He figured out quickly that the oat bran really didn’t taste good and instead dug for the other items to eat.
After a while, I dumped it out on his high-chair tray and gave him a toy car to roll through it. He “vroooooomed!” to his heart’s content while Libbie took her time with the spice painting. A win-win situation all around!