Wednesday, 5 January 2011




This activity is perfect for a rainy day and there is no possibility of going outside. The rice, pasta and pulses can be poured just like water (and sand) and so can be an ideal replacement for a water activity. The beauty of using the different shapes and sizes is that you can use a sieve and a colander to separate them. See if your toddler can work out why they separate...

You will need:
  • A large packet of rice
  • Pasta shapes, big and small
  • Dried lentils and pulses of different sizes
  • Large bowl
  • Spoons, Cups - anything useful for pouring
  • Foil or cling film packets
  • Scissors
  • Large plastic sheet or newspaper

  • Experiment with the different sounds that the rice makes on different surfaces: a tin bowl, plastic sheeting, a plate etc. Make rain sounds by pouring the rice very slowly.
  • Cut out the roof and ends of the tin foil box and lean it against something to create a slide. Pour the rice down the slide. Practice putting it at different angles/sit it on something horizontally and see how much rice it needs to be tipped.
  • Mix the rice, pasta and pulses up and pour into a colander. Show how if you shake the colander, the rice will come through but the pasta will stay. Talk about why this might be...

Hours of fun and not TOO messy.

Or you could...
  • Experiment with how to separate the rice, pasta, pulses etc completely. E.g. Is it possible to separate them with a sieve? A piece of paper made into a funnel? (for older children)
  • Make shakers with the rice and pasta by putting it into yoghurt or soup pots (with lids).