Our preschool lesson plan this week is Valentines Day and we have been looking at matters of the heart. We have read books, worked through our Valentine Frozen worksheets and done a few activities. Today I will share with you 3 ways to use rice in your preschool sensory activities as well as our Valentine rice bin. Let’s walk.

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Rice is one of the staples for our preschool sensory activities and we love it so much that I have teamed up with a few awesome bloggers to bring you 31 Days of Sensory Play Challenge. As you can probably tell, my focus is on rice.

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 #1 The Rice Between Your Toes

Have you ever given your preschooler a container with pebbles or rice or salt? When you are not looking they tend to pour it out on the floor and start exploring beyond what you have given them. This activity was all J’s (my preschooler) idea. She wanted to feel the rice between her toes. She had done footprints in playdough and so this was a new experience for her.

the rice between your toes- preschool sensory activities

#2 I Spy and Learning

Another activity inspired by my daughter. She filled her measuring cup with the rice from her Valentine rice bin and tried identifying the hearts in it. She even started counting the number of hearts that she could see. You can also add a few letters in your bin and ask them to identify either the letter itself or the sound it makes.

valentine preschool sensory activities- I Spy

#3 Rice Sensory Bin

We have made a few sensory bins with rice. We have coloured it and used it for learning activities (Rainbow Rice Upper and Lower Case Match as well as Creepy Crawlies Bin), scented it and even done a combination of both (Peppermint Christmas Sensory Bin).

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How To Make Our Valentine Sensory Bin



  • 3 cups of rice
  • 30 drops of red food colouring or a few drops of red food gel
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 ziplock bag
  • a container for your bin
  • Foam hearts
  • Measuring cup and measuring spoon


Add your rice to your bag and place water and food colouring or gel. If you want to do a smaller sensory bin, simply ensure that the food colouring and rice ratio are proportional. If you want to use only 1 cup of rice, then use 10 drops of food colouring.

preschool sensory activities- valentine rice sensory bin
Shake your ziplock bag vigourously and allow the rice to dry. This should take no longer that a few hours.

Pour the rice into your bin and add foam hearts. Invite your preschooler to play and have vacuum handy. 😉


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