Valentine’s Day Sensory Box (and a cute children’s book about love)

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Today was the perfect day to get our Valentine’s Day themed sensory box ready~ it was a sunny day, and I had time and energy to get errands done~ always a fun combo!

IMG_8941I headed off to Target and, because our sensory boxes seem to lose the fillers quickly, bought 8 pounds of white rice with a plan in mind to dye it pink. Then, I headed to Cost Plus and found some heart shaped pasta. Perfect! (I also found a couple cute treats there for the kids on Valentine’s Day!)

Once we got home, I wanted to take advantage of the sun and get the rice dyed outside. If you’ve never dyed rice or pasta before, it’s super easy! I put the rice in a large baggie. (I split my rice up into four bags since I had so much.) IMG_8943Then, dump in some white vinegar. I’m thinking for each 2 pound bag I probably added about 1/2 cup. Next, squeeze in food coloring. The amount really depends on how dark you want the colors.

Make sure the bags are sealed and smush the bags all around until all the rice is evenly covered with color. Find somewhere to lay out your rice to dry. Usually I line cookie sheets with newspaper and dump the rice in there. Today I took the lazy route and went straight for the newspaper sans cookie sheets. That made it a bit harder to gather all the rice back up once it had dried. Let’s just say our deck is now nicely adorned with pink rice!

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Okay, so I hadn’t planned on shaping it like a heart, but once I noticed my rice pile kind of resembled one, I had to go for it!

You don’t have to lay it in the sun to dry, but it does go more quickly. Once it dried I kicked myself for not using cookie sheets and struggled to get the rice off damp newspapers into my container while talking to myself out loud,  I gracefully dumped the dyed rice into the container.

IMG_8957Now for the fun part~ adding all the goodies! I added the heart shaped pasta I had found at Cost Plus. And I also had some little heart containers I had found in the Target dollar bins last year, so I added those too. And finally I tossed in some little measuring spoons and a heart cup. Can’t wait to let the kids get started playing!

I also wanted to share a cute book I recently bought, Plant a Kiss, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I am in love with it! A little girl plants a kiss and watches her love spread to all those around her. As Lucy says, “It reminds me of all the love I have inside me.” I feel like I need to brainstorm a little project to go with it. Any ideas?

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14 Responses to Valentine’s Day Sensory Box (and a cute children’s book about love)

  1. Nancy says:

    Such a sweet and fun project!
    I’d love for you to stop by and link this up at my link party, which is live right now. It is for new and OLD projects!
    http://www.dosmallthingswithlove.com/2013/01/an-oldie-but-good-link-party-3.html
    Hope to see you there!

  2. Plant a Kiss is such a lovely book. Thanks for sharing your ideas at The Children’s Bookshelf.

  3. Very cute sensory bin. Pinning now!

  4. I love your book tie in! The rice is such a pretty color. I am pinning this post to my Sensory Bin board on Pinterest.

  5. momsquestions says:

    That is such a cool sensory bin! I LOVE that heart shaped pasta. I think I’ll be looking for some when I go grocery shopping this week. 🙂

  6. I’ve been searching the internet for sensory ideas and this whole Montessori idea since our son won’t be attending pre-school as planned (they don’t offer it here) and this is great!

    I wonder though, do you let your kids play indoors with the rice? If I put a big box of rice on the floor for my kids, I’m pretty sure my husband would have a coronary! lol

    I’d love it if you would share this on my Friday link-up party!!
    http://www.parloandlogi.com/fi-tfriday9/

    • buggy & buddy says:

      We actually do play with the rice both indoors and out! (Inside when my husband is gone~ LOL!) I’ve done it two ways inside~ sometimes I put a blanket or our art mat down so it’s easy to collect all the bits that fall out, but usually I just have them play on our kitchen floor (not carpeted) and just sweep up the spills when we’re done. Lately, we’ve been outside with it though. Theo (19 months) has taken to throwing the rice, so until we get that under control, we’ll be staying outside with it. Lucy never wanted to launch the sensory materials when she was younger, Theo is more of a challenge!

      I will definitely check out your link-up party!

  7. Cute…the rice turned out such a nice color of pink!

  8. Kristina says:

    Very cute! I’d like to make a sensory bin for my daughter– I think her 2 year old self would LOVE it!

  9. Repurpose My LIfe says:

    Love the box. I can’t wait to check out the book. Can’t wait to dye some rice!
    Please link up some craft posts here:
    http://repurposemylife.com/5-valentines-projects-kids/

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