Sensory Play – A Tub Full of Seeds

November 8, 2011

sensory play - seeds

I’d been saving up this activity for when I really needed to pull out something special. After a particularly bad day last week with lots of yelling (by the kids and me) I knew that time has come…

I quietly got out two tubs, a couple of containers, funnels and some scoops I’d been saving from the laundry soap. Then I went outside to the shed and filled up one of the tubs with chicken food. Yep, you read right, chicken food.

sesnory play - seeds

I try not to use food as a play material, especially when there is an easily available, cheap, just as good, alternative. Rice for sensory play is lots of fun, but rice is a food that we could eat if we didn’t play with it. Using the seed mix we feed our chickens is a ‘just as good’ alternative to rice, since our chickens don’t mind eating the seed even after we’ve played with it.

At first my school aged girls thought I was a little crazy.
A tub of chook food?
To play with??

sensory play - seeds

But the Four year old sunk his hands in immediately and lifted them up, letting the seeds run through his fingers, saying “it feels funny!” That was all it took for the girls to sink their hands in too.

sensory play - seeds

Hours later they were still pouring, mixing, sorting and running their hands through the chicken feed their crazy mother gave them to play with.

sesnory play seeds

The chicken feed does end up on the table and on the floor, but given a couple of dust pans and brooms, my kids had as much fun sweeping it back up as they did playing with it.

With the lids on the tubs and stored somewhere dry and cool we played with this again and again over a week until we wanted to use the tubs for something else so we recycled the seeds back into the chicken feed bin, with a few handfuls going straight to our hen who has five new chicks.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

jackie November 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I love this idea! Bird seed would be good, and then yes, feed it to the birds afterwards!

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Kylie November 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm

oh wow chook food, never would of thought. It would be great to see this idea added to the Sensory Tubs Idea List (over 100 ideas there and growing) http://ourworldwideclassroom.blogspot.com/2010/07/more-sensory-tub-ideas.html

Ive been following your blog for only a few weeks now, thanks for a great read :-)

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Andrew November 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm

very cool, now all we need is some chickens :D

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Marita November 9, 2011 at 9:58 am

Oooh good idea. We don’t have chooks but could probably do the same with bird food and scatter it out for native birds to eat… just need to investigate the right options for native birds.

The other thing Nathalie from EasyPeasyKids mentioned yesterday is sourcing expired food. I’m going to try and do that – send message out to family and friends if they have dried food that has expired I could use it for the girls sensory play.

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Melissa @imaginationsoup November 10, 2011 at 12:57 am

this looks so enticing! did anyone want to eat the seeds? (or is that just me?)

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Jackie November 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm

What a great idea for a way to calm kids and mommy. I think I’ll remember this next time I’m in a frenzy… or if one of the kiddos is in a frenzy.

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Linda Britton January 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm

We don’t have chickens but I think I’ll buy some bird seed and then feed the local birds after the kids are finished. Thanks for the idea!!

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