Sensory learn is such an important part of play for children. Providing them with opportunities to explore sand, water and rice are great ways to help them develop their senses. How about corn kernels! Here are instructions on how to dye corn kernels for play.
Using corn kernels for play
Corn kernels are great for sensory play and are often overlooked. Their larger size, when compared to sand or similar, make them great for children to scoop or transfer from one bucket to another. They also look gorgeous when dyed various colours.
Of course we always avoid wasting food for play, which is why we reuse such food items again and again and again and in various ways of playing. Corn kernels keep really well and so that is another benefit to using them. See a great post by Deborah from Teach Preschool about this topic here as I echo her thoughts completely.
How to dye corn kernels for play
You will need –
- 1/2 cup raw popping corn kernels
- small zip lock bags (one for each colour you want)
- food colouring
- hand sanitiser (optional)
Simply add 1 tablespoon of corn kernels to a small zip lock bag. Add 10-15 drops of food colouring to each bag and a pea-sized squirt of hand sanitiser. Shake the bag really well so that the food colouring completely coats the corn kernels. Leave the bag open overnight to dry and the colour to set completely.
As you can see, the corn kernels really adsorb the food colouring and look spectacular! Check out how the blue turned out, it’s almost metallic. Unfortunately coloured corn kernels doesn’t pop into coloured popcorn once cooked. I know because I tried it out. LOL
If you decide you’d like to dye your own corn kernels then I would keep them stored in an air tight storage container when it’s not being played with. Obviously active supervision is always required when playing with small pieces, even corn kernels.
Playing with corn kernels
There are so many fabulous ways that you can play with corn kernels and you are only limited by your own imagination, or that of your children. The small corn kernels are great for developing fine motor skills, especially when tweezers or tongs are used, and transferring them from one bowl to another, which involves tipping and pouring. A large container or corn kernels can be great for encouraging children to find lost ‘treasure’ and dig to discover and cover to bury various objects. Individual corn kernels could also be used for counting skills or craft activities.
How would your children like to play with dyed corn kernels?
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