Indian corn makes a beautiful decoration this time of year. And not only does it look great on a harvest table or doorway, but it makes for fantastic sensory play, too!
Today, I set out three ears of this multicolored corn on a tray for Veronika and first just invited her over. She wanted to smell it, one of the first ways she likes to approach a new item.
We discovered that if we cracked an ear in half, we could then pick off the hard kernels. This left behind smooth divots underneath. She loved running her finger over the cob, feeling the contrast between these soft and hard parts.
Next, we turned the corn kernels into part of a sensory bag. I didn’t have any hair gel on hand to fill a small zip-top bag, but corn syrup worked in a pinch. I added a little seasonally-appropriate yellow food coloring, and then some of the corn kernels we’d pulled from the cob.
Seal tightly and pass over to your child. “It’s a squishy bag!” Veronika said with delight, now familiar with the concept. And this one was great for squishing. She could squeeze it between two fists…
…or chase around little kernels of corn with a finger.
With a few corn cobs still on the tray, we decided that they would be fun to paint with. I pulled out brown, red, and green, and poured a little of each color onto a plate.
Show your toddler how to roll a cob in one of the colors and then across a piece of sturdy paper. I placed the paper in a craft tray to contain (most of) the mess.
Note: If you do this project with red, green, and black paint in December, it would also make a lovely Kwanzaa craft given corn’s symbolism during the holiday.
As a finishing touch, we decided to add dots of glue over the dried corncob painting and pressed on a few of the final loose kernels of corn.
What fun play we had simply by exploring a piece of seasonal decor!