It’s play time—colorful, sensory, tasty play time. And perhaps the best part, this activity is easy-peasy. So, gather your little leprechauns and taste the rainbow.
Here’s what you need:
- One box of Fruit Loops Cereal
- Food processor, or ziplock bag and rolling pin
- A large bowl
- Play things (I used measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a whisk)— consider color contrast and accessible measuring tools
- A tray or kitchen towel to define the work station—consider color contrast
- If applicable, your child may benefit from additional task lighting
Here’s the game plan:
- Little ones may not have explored a cereal box. The goal is to let your child take an active role in discovering what makes the cereal box a cereal box (in other words, the concept of a cereal box). Invite your child to accompany you to the pantry where, together, you take the (ideally, labeled) box off the shelf. Give your child plenty of time to investigate—this process is child-led. After a minute or several, you can give words to what they feel. Learn more about empowering your child to actively learn.
- Encourage your child to feel and taste the cereal before and after it’s crushed. You can define the taste as “sweet” and compare it to other foods they’ve had that are either sweet, salty, or sour.
- Pulverize those Fruit Loops with your food processor or alternatively with a rolling pin. [Be sure to announce the loud noise of the processor.] Older children may be ready to learn how to accomplish this step independently.
- Pour the colorful crumbs into a large bowl.
- Set your bowl and play items on a defined work station. My daughter and I placed the materials on a hand towel at the kitchen counter, but setting up a station outdoors would have been ideal if the weather cooperated. Remember to utilize task lighting and color contrast if helpful for your child.
- Play. Scoop. Pour. Stir. Whisk. My nine-year-old daughter pretended we were on a cooking show as she stated, “Alright folks, we’re making potato casserole. First, we’re adding one cup of sliced potatoes.,” etc. We really had a blast!
- If you’re pretending to be chefs, utilize culinary vocabulary and define the words playfully: add a “dash” of salt or a “pinch” of pepper; “season” the dish; “bake” the casserole in your pretend oven; add “one cup” of milk, etc.
- If your child simply wants to poke around, pat, or eat the “edible sand”, no problem! Play what they think is fun. Mimic your child—letting them take the lead.
- Don’t forget to taste your rainbow sand!
It’s really that simple. Low-stress family fun in this season is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.