When it comes to sensory activities for home or the classroom, it doesn’t have to be complicated. This simple scented Valentine’s sensory bin encourages hands-on play. Because of the scent, this activity is reminiscent of cinnamon hearts which are of course a Valentine’s Day staple.
Scented Valentine’s Sensory Bin:
- white rice
- white vinegar
- red food colouring
- cinnamon essential oil
- heart gems
- heart shaped container (can often be found at the Dollar Store) or sensory bin
- optional: scoops or spoons for play
- Add 2 cups of rice to a gallon sized resealable plastic bag.
- Drop 2 tsp. of vinegar to the rice.
- Add 20-30 drops of red food colouring. (more drops = deeper colour)
- Put in 3-7 drops of cinnamon essential oil (depending on how strong you want the smell to be).
- Seal the bag and shake. Mix well until the rice is evenly coloured.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towel.
- Pour the coloured rice onto paper towel, spread out evenly, and allow the rice to dry. (I usually leave mine overnight.)
- Once dry, add one cup of white rice and mix. The mix will look red, white, and pink.
- Pour the rice into a heart shaped tray.
- Add hearts for sensory play.
- When the bin is no longer being played with, you can store the rice and hearts in a clear glass or plastic jar or bottle as decoration.
Sensory and Learning Opportunities:
Kids playing in this Valentine’s sensory bin engage their olfactory (smell), tactile (touch), visual (sight), and proprioceptive sensory systems.
You can expand this activity by creating a seek and find in the rice with sight words related to Valentine’s or by having kids count the number of red or pink hearts and discuss which one there are more of.
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Some of our other Valentine’s sensory activities: