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. But they are also ridiculously simple to make since there is practically zero drying time involved.
Ready to find out how to dye dried chickpeas for sensory play?
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Rainbow Dyed Chickpeas Sensory Play Idea for Kids
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.
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.
And then there were four...
Soon our sensory bin resembled a swirl of junk food goodness. Nacho Skittle corn nuts, anyone?
No? What if J offered them in a cup to you?
Still no? How about if K served up a portion for you?
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!
Rainbow Dyed Chickpeas: How to Dye Chickpeas for Sensory Play
What you'll need to dye dried chickpeas (or garbanzo beans!) for sensory play:
- Giant bag of dried chickpeas - I used a 1.8 kg bag that I purchased for $3.50. I waited for it to go on sale!
- Liquid watercolors - You could probably try food coloring, but liquid watercolors sure makes things easier and more vibrant!
- Large zipper seal plastic bags
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!