Fractious siblings? Try RICE!!

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It was a usual morning at our place. Kids had been wrangled into clothes for the day and convinced to at least sit at the table and look at breakfast. All was fairly harmonious and contained, until, we reached the notorious second stage… the END of breakfast. This day we had no plans, so no rushing around getting snacks and shoes. The boys slid off their seats, had precisely one nano second of ‘playing nicely’ and smoothly proceeded to the inevitable squealing, fighting, snatching and pouting.

But! I was prepared. Today we were making balloon yoyo’s. I love a simple craft activity and this was one of those ones where I already had everything in the cupboard. Inspired by this post I thought this would be a good one for engaging both boys. OMG. How did I not know that RICE would turn two Tasmanian devils into happy little lambs? I kid you not.

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Two baking trays, 2 bags of rice, a variety of small cups, spoons and cardboard toilet roll tubes and we had major experimentation going on. I think in more experienced circles they call these kinds of activities Sensory Boxes. I hoped that they might play with the rice for a while before we got to the yoyo part, but they played FOR AN HOUR. With me in attendance, it wasn’t that amazing that I could sit and… well, even just sitting would be good, but they stopped trying to kill each other and were totally absorbed. I added lentils, kidney beans and any other dried pulsey type things that were dying in the back of my pantry. More the better. L Star was making ‘breakfast’, then a whole little world for sea life, whilst Cool A mainly enjoyed scattering everything on the ground and filling up small cups.

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Finally L Star started to investigate the balloons I left on the table and started to fill them up with the mixture he made, completely of his own accord. We worked out how to make our own funnels from cardboard, I added the elastic bands and we went from having a fairly tranquil activity to a super active chaotic fun one. The boys went nuts with the yoyos. We took them to a play date and their friends went nuts with them. A few days later and they are still popular. In summer I’m going to make them with water instead of rice. This activity was a major winner on all counts for us, with so many creative boxes being ticked!

photoThe joy of a bouncy yoyo!

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