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November 28, 2012

Peppermint Oatmeal {Christmas Sensory Play for Toddlers}

We visited my sister and her family for Thanksgiving and came home yesterday.  Now that Thanksgiving is over the Christmas season is in full force in our house!  To kick off the season of Christmas with PLAY I set up a simple sensory bin for the toddler duo.  They love playing with oatmeal.

I buy oatmeal from The Dollar Tree for our sensory play.  After play I store it in the original container.  The same $1 box lasts for many months of play.  Grains eventually need to be rotated out, so I took a box of oats we've had for months and separated it into two containers.  I added red and green food coloring and a drop of peppermint essential oil.  Then I sealed the containers and shook them well.  This could also be done in a ziploc bag, but I prefer to use reusable options when possible.

Originally I planned to mix the red and green oats in a large bin, but Tank and Peanut saw me shaking the containers and eagerly reached for them.  I decided to take the oats outside and let them get to playing.

While we played I had my iPhone set to the Taylor Swift Holiday Pandora station.  The smell of peppermint, the lightly colored oats, and the festive music put me in the Christmas mood for sure!

Peanut and Tank played for over an hour.  They went back and forth between bins.  Sometimes they played together.  Sometimes each boy kept to his own bin.

I included a few containers for scooping, a spoon, and a spatula.

This bin was the perfect way to include my toddlers (16 months) in Christmas sensory play.  All the ingredients are safe for little ones who mouth everything.  (Please substitute peppermint extract for the essential oil with younger children.  My little guys are moving past the age of putting everything in their mouths, and neither of them even tasted the oats.)

Aren't they cute together?  :)

Peanut especially enjoyed pouring the oats over himself, funny little guy.

Playing with oats can certainly be messy.  When we play indoors I lay down a Dollar Tree shower curtain first.  Outside I used my husband's leaf blower when they boys are done playing.  Although they are messy, oats clean up in a snap.  Strays can be easily vacuumed.

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  1. What a great idea! I've never even thought to use oatmeal for sensory play. I'm glad to know I can find it at the Dollar store. :)

  2. What a great idea for tots. I.bet my 4 yr would enjoy it too. We have yet to play in oats but this makes me want too:-) jaime@fspdt

  3. I love letting the kiddos get into oats for sensory play, as well. Your idea of adding something different (oil/extracts) is wonderful. I'm going to have to try this out soon. :)

  4. This is great! The boys look like they had so much fun! I call my little guy Peanut too :)
    We've never done an oatmeal sensory bin but I'm planning to do one soon. I came across yours on the Weekly Kids Co-op. I'll provide a link to yours if I ever get around to making one and posting about it! 'Tis the season to be busy!

  5. Very cute activity! I already put together a rice-based Christmas sensory bin, but if I may have to pull out some old oats I have in the cupboard to do some peppermint oat sensory play as well!

  6. My daughter would LOVE this! Pinning it and featuring you on my Kid's Co-op post this week. Thanks!!

  7. Wow!! I just loved the idea, its really great. Thanks for sharing..keep posting things like that.

    Its good to use plastic or glass containers again and again to do eco-friendly deeds.
    Reusable Containers

  8. The simple tubs are always the most fun aren't they? What a great idea to use Oatmeal. I've featured this on my blog today as part of my Weekly Kids Co-op round up. Thanks for linking up.

  9. LOVE this! putting this together as part of a 1 year old December birthday gift. Thanks for the idea!

  10. What a great idea, Allison! I love the variety of senses and experiences involved! I featured your post and photo in my 40+ Christmas Sensory Tubs post at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2012/12/17/montessori-monday-40-plus-christmas-sensory-tubs/

  11. I use oatmeal in our sensory bins too!! I would love it if you would share at my Monday of Many Blessings Link Up!! ourhomeofmanyblessings.com


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