Playing with rice
A pleasant activity is playing with rice. The best thing to do is to put the rice in a large crate or box and put a sheet underneath, so that you can put the rice that fell out of the crate during the game back in quite easily.
Some children have to get used to the feeling of rice on their hands for a little while, but once they are used to it most of them love it. Many children enjoy stirring through the rice with their hands, or hiding their hands in the rice. Rice helps a child being more aware of his hands and focusing attention on what he is doing.
It is a nice game to hide objects, for example plastic animals, in the rice. The child can then try to find the animals by stirring through the rice with his hands. Some children like doing this without watching. You can do this easily by putting a large towel over the crate or box, or putting the rice inside a pillow case. Trying to find the objects without watching makes your child feel with his hands very well.
This game can be made even more difficult by not just finding the objects, but by identifying by touch what you have found. For the latter version it is handy to have sets of two identical objects of each thing you hide: one is hidden into the rice, the other one serves as a reminder of what was hidden in the rice. Many objects are suitable for this purpose, not only the plastic animals mentioned before, but also pieces of Lego or plastic letters.
You can also make your child put his feet into the rice. This will give him more awareness of his feet. The easiest way is to let him take place on a chair or stool and put the crate with rice under his feet. It is a nice game to hide your child’s feet in the rice and then go look for them again. You can also massage your child’s feet with rice.
Els Rengenhart © 2009