Rainbow Chickpeas {How to Dye Dried Chickpeas for Sensory Play}

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

So I recently claimed that rainbow shredded coconut was my favorite sensory bin filler ever. I take that back because I had not yet discovered the awesomeness that is rainbow dyed chickpeas. There are so many reasons why these rainbow chickpeas are now our new favorite sensory bin filler. First of all, they are simply gorgeous.


They look like Skittles candy, don't you think? Except the orange ones. They remind me of nacho corn nuts. Oh how I love nacho corn nuts! Yum!

But these aren't edible. However, you can make them edible. Although, still don't let your kids eat them.

Rainbow chickpeas: how to dye dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for sensory play for kids from And Next Comes L


Let me dazzle you with a few more pictures before I spill the beans (ha!) on how to make these rainbow dyed chickpeas. As you can see, little hands could not resist touching them. First, there were two hands.

Playing with rainbow dyed dried chickpeas - a great sensory bin filler for toddlers and preschoolers from And Next Comes L

And then there were four...

Playing with rainbow dyed dried chickpeas - a great sensory bin filler for toddlers and preschoolers from And Next Comes L

Soon our sensory bin resembled a swirl of junk food goodness. Nacho Skittle corn nuts, anyone?

Rainbow chickpeas: how to dye dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for sensory play for kids from And Next Comes L

Playing with rainbow dyed dried chickpeas - a great sensory bin filler for toddlers and preschoolers from And Next Comes L

No? What if J offered them in a cup to you?

Close up of rainbow dyed dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for sensory play from And Next Comes L

Still no? How about if K served up a portion for you?

Playing with rainbow dyed dried chickpeas - a great sensory bin filler for toddlers and preschoolers from And Next Comes L

Close up of rainbow dyed dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for sensory play from And Next Comes L

Come on...if a two year old offers you something, then you take it, right? 

Ah, perfect! You're on board to try it then! I'll make sure K dished you up some that weren't touching his toes. Deal?  Good!

Playing with rainbow dyed dried chickpeas - a great sensory bin filler for toddlers and preschoolers from And Next Comes L

What you'll need to dye dried chickpeas (or garbanzo beans!) for sensory play:


For each color of the rainbow, I put 1.5 cups of chickpeas and about 5-8 squirts of liquid watercolors in a plastic bag. Then I let the boys shake and mix the contents until the chickpeas were well coated. You may need to add more liquid watercolors to get complete bean coverage. I highly suggest adding a few squirts at first and then adding one additional squirt at a time until they are well coated.

Now here's the magical thing about dyeing dried chickpeas. They dry almost instantly. Seriously. Within minutes, the chickpeas were dry to the touch. That means you don't have to wait for hours for them to dry. Yay!

The other reason why rainbow dyed chickpeas are simply the best sensory bin filler: their weight. Since chickpeas are heavier than dyed oats or salt or rice or coconut, they offer a lot more tactile input to sensory seeking kids. That means they are also a lot more noisy than other sensory bin fillers, but my noisy boys enjoyed that part too!

Be sure to check out our other rainbow dyed sensory bin fillers:


Rainbow chickpeas: how to dye dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for sensory play for kids from And Next Comes L

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Fine Motor Play with Colorful Cups & Water

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Playing with water is always a popular activity in our house. Playing with turkey basters in water is an even more popular activity in our house. So on a particularly hot summer day, I set up this simple invitation to work on fine motor skills.

Practicing fine motor skills by pouring water into colorful cups from And Next Comes L

For this fine motor activity, I set out:


Fine motor invitation for kids using water and colorful cups from And Next Comes L

Initially, the boys used the turkey basters to fill up the various cups. As you can see, quite a bit of water missed the mark. That's okay because it was hot out and it was fun for the boys to splash in the water too.

Water and colorful cups fine motor sensory play from And Next Comes L

Water and colorful cups fine motor sensory play from And Next Comes L

Scooping and pouring is also great fine motor practice. The boys used the little shot glasses to pour water into the tube shots, which is a great opportunity to explore concepts of measuring and volume.

Practicing fine motor skills by pouring water into colorful cups from And Next Comes L

Practicing fine motor skills by pouring water into colorful cups from And Next Comes L

They soon moved to scooping and pouring water from the tube shots because, as they noticed, the tube shots could hold a lot more water than the shot glasses.

Practicing fine motor skills by pouring water into colorful cups from And Next Comes L

Practicing fine motor skills by pouring water into colorful cups from And Next Comes L

Water ended up everywhere as they scooped and poured. So, as I mentioned, the boys had a blast splashing in the water too!

Looking for other ways to play and learn with water? Check out these ideas:


Fine motor sensory play for toddlers and preschool kids using colorful cups and water from And Next Comes L

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How to Encourage Kids to Practice Piano

By on July 26, 2014 2 Comments so far
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. I received a copy of 101 Piano Practice Tips in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by the free product.

One of the most difficult things about being a piano teacher is encouraging students to continue practicing piano over breaks. Whether it is a break around Christmas time or a break during the summer, I know that my students are likely not practicing as much as they need or as much as I would like. And honestly, as a kid growing up, I remember rarely touching the piano during the summer months. So I get it. However, lack of practice during this time can really affect progress.

So how can you encourage your kids to practice piano (or any instrument really!) during school breaks?

Ideas and tips for encouraging children to practice piano - includes review of 101 Piano Practice Tips ebook from And Next Comes L

The book 101 Piano Practice Tips by Tracy Capps Selle offers lots of amazing practice ideas. It's a valuable guide for parents to keep on hand in order to find the right practice suggestions for your child. There were even plenty of fun ideas that I had never heard of before! And the chapter filled with tips from kids is completely adorable. I also particularly enjoyed how the book reinforced three key ideas about practicing piano:
  • It should be fun.
  • It should be part of a daily routine.
  • Not all piano practice needs to occur at the piano.

Tip 1: Make Practicing Piano Fun!


During the summer, kids want to just play. As a result, they view practicing piano as a chore or as work. So you may have to look for creative ways to make practicing piano fun. Here are some ways to make practicing piano fun:
  • Host a teddy bear concert. In 101 Piano Practice Tips, Tracy mentions this adorable idea of having your child playing a concert for their favorite stuffed animals. Encouraging a child to perform for their stuffed animals will not only make practicing piano more fun, but it will help them develop the confidence needed to participate in performances. So it helps them prepare for piano recitals too!
  • Come up with games to encourage practice. Another fun idea from Tracy's book is the game called "Penny Practice." It involves moving pennies from one side of the piano to the other each time a child plays a difficult section correctly. Play it wrong and a penny moves back to the original side. Once all the pennies move to the other side, the child not only wins the game, but they get to keep the pennies (or candies or whatever else you may substitute).
  • Record you child playing the piano. They will love watching the video afterwards!
  • Encourage your child to play their favorite songs as they will be more likely to want to practice if it's songs that they enjoy.


Tip 2: Make Practicing Piano Part of the Daily Routine


You may have to remind your child to brush their teeth or wash their hands. That means you may have to remind them to practice piano as well. 


It may be helpful to find a time of day that is designated to practicing piano. When I was a teenager, I used to wake up at 6 AM so that I could practice piano. It worked perfect for our family, even for my two brothers who would sleep through it all. So find a time that works for your child and stick to it!


Tip 3: Not All Piano Practice Needs to Occur at the Piano


Piano is more than just playing notes at the piano. Important skills such as working on rhythms or practicing note reading can be done away from the piano keyboard. 

In 101 Piano Practice Tips, Tracy suggests many wonderful apps and websites for practicing music theory, including some that are free. However, I prefer to encourage music theory learning with hands on activities. Here are some creative ways to practice piano without actually practicing at the piano. Just click on the link above the photo to read more about it.


Music theory games for kids - practice note reading with cars from And Next Comes L


Music theory games for kids using chalk from And Next Comes L


DIY Music Rocks for learning about music theory from And Next Comes L


Explore music theory with these simple drum games from And Next Comes L


Music theory games for kids from And Next Comes L


Music theory games for kids with a DIY grand staff from And Next Comes L


Music theory game for kids on the light table from And Next Comes L

Want More Piano Practice Tips?


I highly recommend downloading 101 Piano Practice Tips as it offers lots of creative ideas for encouraging piano practice. I particularly enjoyed the chapter with the tips from kids because, let's face it, kids say some pretty awesome (and hilarious) things. I also loved the section on music apps because I frequently have parents asking for suggestions. Now I have a great resource to suggest to them. I also love that the book is easy to read, making it a great book to reference, especially if you need a fresh new practicing strategy for your child.

101 Piano Practice Tips is available for Kindle. And don't worry if you don't have a Kindle! You can read this book on your computer or on mobile devices using the free Kindle app.

101 Piano Practice Tips by Tracy Capps Selle

For more information on the book, please check it out on Amazon or browse Tracy's website.

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Muffin Tin Geoboard

By on July 25, 2014 4 Comments so far
I'm sharing another everyday fine motor play idea as part of the Everyday Fine Motor Materials from A to Z series. Last week, I shared a feather bowl craft for letter F. This time I'm sharing a letter M themed fine motor activity. I chose muffin tins for this activity and the boys turned them into geoboards, resulting in simple, no prep fine motor play that kept them both busy for a good chunk of the morning. 

Working on fine motor skills using muffin tins and rubber bands from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

I came up with this idea while brushing my hair and I'm still not really sure what sparked the idea. However, it turned out awesome. Plus, it only uses two materials! For this activity, we used:

No prep fine motor play for kids using muffin tins from And Next Comes L

This fine motor activity ended up being just perfect for four year old J. He easily managed to put the rubber bands onto the bottom of the muffin tins.

Working on fine motor skills using muffin tins and rubber bands from And Next Comes L

Two year old K, on the other hand, needed assistance with this part. He found it really tricky to hold the rubber bands open while sliding it onto the muffin tin.

Working on fine motor skills using muffin tins and rubber bands from And Next Comes L

Close up of toddler manipulating rubber band from And Next Comes L

K did find the 24 mini muffin tin easier. That's when both boys turned the muffin tin into a geoboard. They created patterns, shapes, and even some letters with the rubber bands.

Practicing fine motor skills with no pre muffin tin geoboard from And Next Comes L

Practicing fine motor skills with no pre muffin tin geoboard from And Next Comes L

Practicing fine motor skills with no pre muffin tin geoboard from And Next Comes L

This activity required literally no prep, but it turned out to be a fantastic fine motor exercise for both of them. Simple play for the win! YAY!

This post is part of the Everyday Fine Motor Materials from A to Z series hosted by Still Playing School.  Just click on the image below to see all the other posts in the series.  

Letter F of the Everyday Fine Motor Materials from A to Z series at And Next Comes L

No prep fine motor play for kids using muffin tins from And Next Comes L

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Sensory Play Guide: How to Dye Sensory Bin Materials

By on July 24, 2014 4 Comments so far
Rainbows make everything better. Honestly, how many kids can resist a rainbow colored sensory bin?! I bet not too many. And really, as an adult, I cannot resist them either. 

Well, if you have ever wondered how to dye materials such as rice, oats, and beans for sensory play, then this guide is for you! Just click on the link above each picture to get the full instructions and tutorial.  I can almost guarantee that you'll want to dye everything on this list!

Rainbow sensory play guide: how to dye sensory bin fillers from oats to rice to salt from And Next Comes L

How to Dye Oats from And Next Comes L

How to dye oats for sensory play from And Next Comes L

How to Dye Epsom Salt from Learn Play Imagine

How to dye epsom salts for sensory play

How to Dye Barley from Twodaloo

How to dye barley for sensory play

How to Dye Dried Beans from Fun at Home With Kids

How to dye dried beans for sensory play

How to Dye Hay from Crayon Box Chronicles

How to dye hay for sensory play

How to Dye Dried Chickpeas from And Next Comes L

How to dye dried chickpeas for sensory play from And Next Comes L

How to Dye Corn Kernels from Fun-A-Day!

How to dye corn kernels for sensory play

How to Dye Rice Noodles from And Next Comes L

How to dye rice noodles for sensory play from And Next Comes L

How to Dye Dried Pasta from Buggy & Buddy

How to dye dried pasta for sensory play

How to Make Colored Cloud Dough from Powerful Mothering

How to make colored cloud dough sensory play

How to Dye Rice from Happy Hooligans

How to dye rice for sensory play

How to Make Colored Salt from The Imagination Tree

How to make colored salt sensory play

How to Dye Cooked Spaghetti from Fun at Home With Kids

How to dye cooked spaghetti for sensory play

How to Dye Shredded Coconut from And Next Comes L

How to dye shredded coconut for sensory play from And Next Comes L

How to Make Colored Sand from Nurturestore

How to make colored sand for sensory play

How to Dye Shredded Paper from Sugar Aunts

How to dye shredded paper for sensory play

How to Dye Baking Soda from Happily Ever Mom

How to dye baking soda for sensory play

How to Dye Water Beads from Tutus & Tea Parties

How to dye water beads for sensory play


How to Dye Egg Shells from Powerful Mothering

How to dye egg shells for sensory play

Looking for more sensory play ideas?  Then be sure to check out my awesome Sensory Play for Kids board on Pinterest.

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