I love the idea of sensory jars and the educational activities you can do with them. This week we made our first one, a Valentine’s theme sensory jar using just two ingredients, candy hearts and rice. This was so easy and inexpensive to make, and it can be used by so many different age groups. My toddlers can enjoy spinning it and searching for their favorite colors. My 1st grader can use it to practice reading and writing common words found in the messages on the hearts, and my older children can graph the colors and analyze the applicable ratios.
To create the sensory jar, we started with just 3 things, a cute Ikea jar, some rice from the cupboard, and a bag of conversation hearts. I wanted to make sure the candy hearts were spread throughout the rice, so I added them in levels, about 1/4 of a cup of rice to 6 or 7 candy hearts.
We kept repeating the levels until the jar was approaching full, but there was enough space for the rice to easily move around.
Then we popped the lid back on and began to play. It was interesting to notice the density difference, and how movement brought the hearts to the surface. It was also fun to search for our favorite colors, and then to try to see if we could hide them all in the rice.
On of my favorite activities for the older kids to do with the jar was graphing the hearts. They recorded how many of each color of hearts were in the jar, and then I could ask them questions about their findings. We were all happy to discover that there were the least amount of white hearts, the flavor no one at our house likes.
We hope you enjoy this activity and find a way to learn a little something along the way.