We've been on a bit of a rainbow sensory play kick lately. First it was rainbow shaving cream and then it was rainbow dyed oats. Well, now I think I have found my favorite sensory bin filler ever: rainbow shredded coconut. It's bright and colorful and yes, it still smells like delicious coconut!
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I haven't seen shredded coconut as a sensory base before. Perhaps because it is more expensive than using rice, oats, or pasta. However, when I consider the long-term storage and re-usability of all of our other sensory bin fillers, I know that we will easily get our money's worth from our rainbow dyed coconut. Another bonus is that it's already scented, so it boosts the sensory experience without adding anything extra.
To dye the shredded coconut, I used the same technique as the rainbow dyed oats. You can choose to make them edible or not. I went for non-edible since my boys are beyond the mouthing stage when it comes to sensory play. You will need:
- 6 cups of shredded coconut (1 cup for each color)
- Liquid watercolors or food coloring
- Paper towel
I mixed 1 tbsp of water with a few drops of liquid watercolors (you will need more drops if using food coloring). I then added 1 cup of shredded coconut and mixed it all until it was completely covered. I then placed the shredded coconut onto some paper towel and left it in our sunroom to dry. It took less than one hour to dry completely.
Then arrange it into a rainbow for play time!
It's so pretty that I could not stop taking photos of it. Plus, the smell! Oh my! I love the smell of coconut.
The boys patiently waited while I snapped photos and asked so sweetly, "Can I touch it?" In a matter of seconds, the rainbow became a swirly, colorful mixture.
I even captured a sweet little hand-holding moment. Awww...
Then like every other sensory bin that we have done, a child climbed in. K did some dancing in the coconut and had so much fun.
Dancing led to holding the rainbow coconut, letting it sift through their fingers.
That lead to some gentle confetti-type throwing and dumping...
No worries though since we play with our sensory bins on top of a shower curtain. I simply dump the rainbow coconut (or whatever we are playing with) into a plastic bag or container for storage, making clean up a breeze!
Looking for more colorful sensory play ideas? Try out these other colorful ideas: