Friday, November 29, 2019

Rainbow Oats {How to Dye Oats for Sensory Play}

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Find out how to dye oats and make a rainbow oatmeal sensory bin for your kids.

It's been awhile since we've done a good old fashioned sensory bin, mostly because our sensory bin container was in dire need of replacement. 

Well, thankfully, I remembered to pick up a new sensory bin container while running errands. Then we kicked off our return to sensory bins with a colorful (new-to-us) base (it's almost as awesome as these rainbow dyed chickpeas).  

I haven't used oats as a sensory bin filler before. While I'm sure that the boys would have enjoyed playing with plain old oats on their own, I always like to add a bit of color if I can. 

So the boys and I spent a morning dyeing oats in all colors of the rainbow, left them in the sun to dry, and were playing with them a few hours later.

Ready to try some rainbow oats sensory play? Here's how to dye oats.

Rainbow oats sensory bin idea for kids

Rainbow Oats Sensory Bin: What You'll Need

Dyeing the oats is very straightforward.  Since we are passed the mouthing stage in our house, I went the non-edible route.  However, you could easily make edible rainbow oats by using food coloring. 

To dye the oats, you will need:

  • Water

Playing with rainbow dyed oats

How to Dye Oats for Sensory Play

In a bowl (or zipper seal bags), I mixed approximately 1.5 tablespoons of water with a few drops of liquid watercolors (if you are using food coloring, you will need likely 8-10 drops depending on how vibrant you want them).

You want just enough liquid to coat the oats. You do not want them to be drenched.

I then added the rolled oats.

Once all the oats were evenly coated, I dumped the mixture onto paper towel and left it in the sunroom to dry.  Drying time was only about an hour.  

I then arranged the colored oats into a rainbow.  Isn't it pretty? The answer is yes, obviously.

Colored oatmeal sensory bin for kids

Colored oatmeal sensory bin for kids

Rainbow oats

Of course, all the colored oats will be thoroughly mixed in a matter of seconds, leaving a bin full of colorful confetti-like sensory fun. But it was nice to enjoy the nicely lined up rainbow colors for a few seconds though...

Rainbow porridge sensory bin

Rainbow Oats: A Fun Twist on the Classic Oatmeal Sensory Bin for Kids!

The rainbow oats were irresistible to my boys! J loved to draw shapes, letters, and numbers in them. And he loved to scoop them up and let them fall gently between his fingers. 

How to dye oats

How to dye oats for sensory play

How to dye oats for sensory play

Rainbow oats sensory bin

Doesn't it look just like confetti?

K, on the other hand, loved to explore the rainbow oats with his entire body.  I've said it many times before, but I will say it again.  No sensory bin is complete until there's a child inside the bin itself!

Toddler playing with rainbow sensory bin

We will definitely be playing with these rainbow oats for the rest of the week!  How can we not?!  Look at all those gorgeous morsels of color.

Sensory play with rainbow oats

How Long Do Rainbow Oats Keep For?

I still have this same set of rainbow oats even 5 years later. I just keep them sealed in an airtight container or zipper seal bag. Some of the oats have broken down a bit from being played with, but that's about it.

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