Cornstarch, Oatmeal, Rice, Cornmeal Oh My!

Babies, toddlers and children of all ages LOVE playing in the sand. To help your child experience a VARIETY of different textures, here are some easy, simple and fun food items to use, that you probably have sitting in your pantry. This activity is perfect for the outdoors. This activity is great for a 1 year old. Use with caution with younger babies.

Fill a container with cornstarch (deep enough for babies hands to be buried) and bury some safe toys inside the container. Have
baby "search" through the cornstarch to find the item.

Rougher texture:

Fill a container with oatmeal (rolled oats, flat, flakes) or rice/risotto and bury some safe toys inside the container. See if you can find naturally colored risotto (vegetable coloring) to add interest to baby.

Fill a container with cornmeal (finely ground) and bury some safe toys inside.

Size of the containers

For tactile input to the hands, use a small container. Vary the height of the container (place on floor, on different surface heights) so that baby can practice kneeling, sitting, standing etc

For tactile input to the whole body, fill a large container with a suitable food ingredient per above and let baby play in it, with just a diaper. With baby in a seated position, the food can cover just his legs. Remember to take those socks off. Help baby transition in and out of container and please remember that these ingredients can make it more slippery for baby, making balancing a challenge.

Make certain that baby is not allergic to the food items that you select. Different brands of foods may be sharper than others. Always use common sense when selecting food for play. The goal is to help baby experience a variety of tactile input to his skin. Never use sharp food ingredients and monitor throughout the activity to ensure safety. Never immerse a baby fully in a food ingredient, this could be a choking hazard.


Kate said...

This is fantastic. You have such great ideas for us. Thank you so much. This is SO helpful as I am always looking for ways to enrich my babies experiences

David said...

Wow, such a simple idea, yet so effective. I bet little ones have so much fun doing things like this too. Just look at how they love the sand or grass or finger painting (with the yoghurt and all over the table and floor). Great suggestion. I really have to check out this site even more often than I have been and let my parents group know about this.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. I can really see the baby having great fun digging through the risotto looking for his toy!