Our resident preschool teacher, Joanne, is back today with a FANTASTIC indoor/rainy day activity!
Spring has definitely not sprung, resulting in a very grumpy classroom (and teacher). Whenever the weather outside is inclement, I need to be able to make indoor time much more fun for my kiddos (or it’s going to become a disaster in here). That’s when I reach into my “Rainy Day Fund” for relatively easy activities that will keep my students occupied.
Jewel is selling 20 pound bags of rice for $8.99. Go out and get some now! Trust me:
Glow in the Dark Rice
What you need:
-Fluorescent paints (found at Michael’s or any craft store)
-Toys (shovels, cups, sieves, magnetic letters, etc.)
*Amazon sells really nice ones for about $20 shipped. Personally, I think it’s a great investment to have for future activities.
*You can also get a black light bulb from Wal-Mart, but it doesn’t quite “pop” as much as the black light.
-Dump as much rice as you want to use into a container. I separated the rice into six sections for each color of paint I was using. You only need enough paint to be able to coat the rice (however if you over skimp, it’s not as bright and fun). Pour a capful of rubbing alcohol onto the paint and mix together. The rubbing alcohol helps the rice dry quicker (my bucket dried within an hour, with occassional stirring).
-Once the rice is dry, it’s play time! I made a little fort in the corner of my classroom using quilts, and used the black light to make the rice glow. (My black light flashlight broke during this activity, so thus the recommendation for a nice table one. And from this, I can tell you the black bulb worked, but not as well – it wasn’t as bright. I also found that the rice faintly glowed without the black light if your space is dark enough).
And it looks pretty nice in regular lighting:
What your child is learning:
-Fine motor skills – holding those cups and shovels require refined wrist and finger movements, helping to build those little muscles that lead to early writers.
-Cognitive skills – pouring from one container to another requires a lot of attention from a growing brain, and teaches spatial relationship and measurement.
-Using inquiry skills and using the appropriate language to describe what is happening.
-Extending the activity – bury letters, shapes or numbers and have the children identify them as them fish them out. Have magnetic toys? Awesome, hot glue a round magnet to a piece of string and “fish” the other toys out.
This “Rainy Day” activity takes a little bit of planning, but it amazed my little ones, and provided literally hours of fun.