I always try to find new ways to keep Bears attention while trying to teach him something. For the past few months, he has been obsessed with CAT Trucks or any type of construction truck. He won't go anywhere without his excavator. Bear hadn't had much of chance to use them with anything more than pretend play when I remembered we still had the dyed rice.
I tried to talk to him and ask him questions or to do small tasks. For example, I asked Bear to use the excavator to pick up the purple rice or to flatten out the blue rice. I tried to focus on colors mainly with this task.
Bear does well when he can have a visual or hands on task to reinforce what he is learning. He may not be totally sure of which color is which but he does know that green, purple and blue are colors which are part of the process.
Previously we have worked on "empty" and "full" so I did go over those with him once again when he seemed to get bored with colors. Bear was able to tell me if the truck "full" so I could drive it away. The excitement when he gets it is what I love to see.
This isn't a mess free tot school activity, but as far as cleanup goes a broom and dustpan or vacuum made quick work of it. Bear even tried to help me out with this. The rice didn't stain anything it landed on.
I used an edible (yet gross) dye for the rice so some of the colors did transfer to Bear's hands and toys. I washed them with just soap and water which seemed to do the trick. There were one or two spots on his right hand that took a day or so to wear off despite washing several times. I'm wondering if the rice got wet or something which may have caused the food coloring in the dye to stain his hand.