Rice Play: Pretend Cooking

Feb 29, 2012

Playing with rice is a great tactile experience for children. Here I provided some basic "tools" and then let the playing begin.

As we were using a real ingredient, Madeline wanted to pretend to be cooking.


Using fine motor skills and coordination to move rice from a container to an ice cube tray with small tongs


 Some of the tools. Large spoon, small spoon, small tongs, measuring cup, scoop


 It takes time and concentration to fill such small holes


 Filled! Little "cakes" ready for serving


 "I'm making you a milkshake." Using a shaker and large cup to practice pouring and shaking


 Carefully spooning rice into a large cup and dividing it up between the cups


 Hand eye coordination working hard


Now I'm a chef. Adding her cooking apron and hat to get into character

Some tips:

- Try getting out a few different tools and vessels each time you do rice play to get a different learning experience each time and to practice different skills

- Whilst rice is easy to vacuum up, if you want to re-use it (waste not, want not) for future rice play, you will need a mat underneath and to encourage your child to attempt to keep it off the floor

- Dressing up can play a part in your child's experience. It may add a different element or change the direction of their play. How would a cowboy play with rice? (Why not find out?) :)

- Use correct vocabulary to describe the processes and experiences your child is having while they are playing. This puts it into context for them and helps develop their literacy skills

- Make your child aware of the problem solving they are doing. "How did you get the rice from that container to that container?" "That was a great idea" "How will you pour it into such a small hole without spilling it everywhere?" etc


Debs :)




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