Babies at Daisykins nursery loved their colourful messy play experience. Rice and spaghetti was dyed various colour and then set out in different arrangements to develop babies awareness of pattern and colour. The babies were then allowed to freely choose if they wanted to participate and how to explore the rice and spaghetti enabling our babies to develop confidence, independence and concentration skills. Many babies decided they would like to explore the rice first, mixing the different colours together and destroying the patterns displaying that they did have an awareness of the different colours and patterns, a key skill in developing mathematical knowledge.
Babies then enjoyed exploring the coloured spaghetti with their mouths and feet, many of them choosing to sit in the tray on top of spaghetti so they could easily explore what was around them. Exploring things with different parts of their body is highlighted as an important developmental step by the EYFS and gives babies opportunity to express themselves.
During the experience practitioners encouraged and displayed different ways the rice and spaghetti could be explored and the effects doing different things would have such as pouring the rice from a height to make a noise like rain or using a heuristic spoon to fill up a bowl again developing mathematical knowledge and challenging babies current knowledge in order to extend their learning.
Practitioners offered commentary during parts of the session where it was appropriate and remained close by to offer support and comfort to any babies who needed it. By having practitioners close by the babies felt secure to freely explore and gained confidence in their own abilities when given praise. By offering both spaghetti and rice for the babies to explore it enabled the babies to explore the textures and gave practitioners an opportunity to develop communication and language skills by describing the textures such as sticky and wobbly for the cooked spaghetti.
It also encouraged physical development and again mathematical development by encouraging babies to realise ‘big’ and ‘small’ many babies displayed they had discovered this by using a pincer grip to pick up small pieces of rice and palmer grasp to pick up handfuls of the spaghetti.
As our babies enjoyed this experience so much we are planning to extend their learning from this by using the coloured rice to make some sensory bottles which will develop the babies cause and effect skills and motor skills. We are also going to use some of the rice to make some lovely pictures as this activity was completed around bonfire night we are going to give our babies some black paper, glue and the coloured rice so they can make their very own firework pictures.