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Snack Time Play Time: 3 Kids Activities Using Cereal

Posted by Alana Pace on June 28th, 2017 under General, Ideas for Kids

As a proponent of play-based learning, the question I get asked the most by parents is how to make kids' activities baby-safe and taste-safe. It goes without saying, toddlers LOVE to put things into their mouths. There are some preschoolers who continue to discover their environment through oral input too. For these children, glue, pom-poms, googly eyes and other standard craft materials might not be the best. The truth is though, taste-safe kids' activities can be so much fun!

Recently, my kids and I took some of our favorite cereals and came up with different play-based learning ideas.

 

Snack Time Play Time: 3 Kids Activities Using Cereal | Envirokidz

 

 

1. Puffed Rice Sensory Bin

 

Sensory play is any play that involves the senses. Of course, taste-safe play is a wonderful way to procure the benefits of this type of play. 

 

What you need

  • Nature's Path Puffed Rice Cereal or similar (Koala Crisp is awesome for this too)
  • A large clean bin or container
  • Themed materials (optional)
  • Large kitchen utensils (i.e. slotted spoons, spaghetti spoons, tongs, plastic cups)

 

Snack Time Play Time: 3 Kids Activities Using Cereal | Envirokidz

 

What to do

  1. Dump cereal into bin.
  2. Add thematic items if you so choose. Examples include ocean, garden, frog pond, zoo, or farm animal themes. Recently, we did a garden theme and used small, clean garden tools, fabric flowers and butterflies.
  3. Option to make your own funnel using the top of a plastic bottle. Add electrical or duct tape around the top if the edges are sharp. This tends to work better than a traditional funnel because the mouth is wider.
  4. Enjoy!

 

What they're learning

Through sensory play, children are able to test hypothesises, learn cause and effect, conservation of mass (pouring cereal from one cup to another), and so much more. They also work on fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

 

Snack Time Play Time: 3 Kids Activities Using Cereal | Envirokidz

 

2. Whole O's Fine Motor Skill Practice

 

What you need

  • Nature's Path Whole O's Cereal
  • Dried spaghetti noodles
  • Play dough
  • Magnetic toy numbers (optional)

 

What to do

  1. Play a portion of play dough onto a clean table. Find taste-safe play dough recipes here.
  2. Press spaghetti into play dough. 
  3. Encourage your child to string the Whole O's onto the spaghetti.
  4. For older children, you can make the activity more complex by adding toy numbers in front of different mounds of play dough. Then ask your child to string the corresponding number of Whole O's onto the spaghetti.
  5. Or, simply let them pile as many as possible onto each noodle and have them count how many are on each.

 

What they're learning

When children pick up each Whole O, they are using their pincer grasp (needed to hold a pencil). They are also working on hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills (also needed for printing). Depending on whether or not you do step 4 and 5, your child is also learning numeracy (one-to-one correspondence, counting, and number recognition).

 

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3. Crafty Bug Counting

 

What you need

  • EnviroKidz Leapin' Lemurs cereal, Gorilla Munch, or similar
  • Paper and pens or this printable
  • Glue (optional)
  • Tempera paint (optional)

 

What to do

  1. Print off printable or draw out bugs.
  2. Set out a small bowl of Leapin' Lemurs cereal.
  3. Encourage your child to place the cereal in the corresponding spots on the bugs.
  4. Option to glue the cereal to each bug and paint them!

 

What they're learning

Pincer grasp is needed to pick up and place each piece of cereal onto each dot. This activity also strengthens fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Finally, it is a great activity to promote numeracy (one-to-one correspondence, counting and number recognition).

 

Snack Time Play Time: 3 Kids Activities Using Cereal | Envirokidz

 

I hope you enjoy these taste-safe kids activities as much as we did!

 

Alana Pace: Author Bio | EnviroKidz

Author Bio

When Alana Pace found out she was pregnant with her second child only six months after having her first, she knew she had to get creative fast. Fortunately, spending so much of her childhood outdoors with a mother who specialized in Early Childhood Education, learning through play is almost instinctive for her. Each morning with her kids marks a new opportunity to explore and seize the day. Her passions are her family, yoga, and writing. On her blog Parenting From the Heart, she writes about positive parenting strategies and play-based learning activities for young families.