This was easily one of the prettiest sensory rice bins I’ve put together for Veronika. And it certainly smelled the best!
To prepare the rice, you’ll want to start the night before. I didn’t have orange food coloring, but I dripped in a good sized blob each of red and yellow, then added about 2 tablespoons of hand sanitizer. Add a bag of plain white rice, along with 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, and stir until it’s all combined.
I ended up really liking the striated effect this achieved, since some pieces were more yellow, some more red, and some a perfect blend of orange. All the fall colors! Spoon the mixture onto a shallow tray so it can dry overnight.
In the morning, I laid out the rice for Veronika, along with pine cones and whole cinnamon sticks. Feel free to add other whole spices if you have them, like nutmeg or star anise.
Veronika loved the bin right away, first wanting to get her hands on the cinnamon sticks. “Can I smell them?” she asked.
I also added in a few orange pipe cleaners so she could thread the cinnamon sticks onto them, almost like long beads.
Then she started sprinkling handfuls of rice over the pine cones. She loved the sound it made!
It was fun to bury the pine cones in the rice and then unearth them. And of course she paused often to lift the rice near her nose and take a deep breath in. There’s nothing better than the smell of pumpkin pie!
This one kept her busy for a while!