Search & Find Rice Sensory Bin Play

rice search & find cover

Simple Hands-On Learning And Play Activity

Rice sensory bins are a forever staple at our house. It is a super easy sensory bin filler and inexpensive to find! Liam has been playing in rice since his first birthday. Actually his first birthday present was a rice bin with different size measuring cups! Mind you he was never really a mouther so we did not have to worry much about what he put in his mouth! I have been trying out different styles of bins and different sizes of bins ever since. He has been loving my baking dish for a sensory bin lately especially if there is a specific activity planned. Today I decided to take a previous activity and give it a new twist. This search and find rice sensory bin activity evolved from my alphabet I spy rice bag we played with earlier in the week. He spied letters and circled them on a print out of letters as he found them.

alphabet I spy rice bag

Hoping to get some more play out of the I Spy bag and to change the novelty of it (which is very important here), I dumped it into my glass baking dish. Then I  added some trinkets and junk drawer finds as well as an ice cube tray to make it more interesting. I had a couple ideas in mind as to how he could play with it in case he needed ideas,  but wasn’t sure exactly how it would pan out. First, he decided to match the letters to the sheet he had previously used in the I Spy game as he pulled them out of the bin, so that took a bit of time. I had hoped he would use the tongs or chopsticks but I could tell he was losing interest and I wanted him to have fun with it. However, he did a great job working independently on it!

rice search alphabet

After he found all the letters and matched them, I encouraged him to practice with the chopsticks again (since I didn’t push with the letters) and find the other treasures buried in the rice. He was excited to see the kitty, penguin, horse, eyeball and more! For this part of the activity, I had placed an ice cube tray next to the bin and hoped he would have a use for it.  The idea was to find an object and place it in the ice cube tray using the chopstics! There were lots of cute things to find and he loved putting each one in a space in the tray and giving them a home!

rice search objects

He also enjoyed simply sifting through the rice with his hands! Sometimes I feel for the search and finds that I like to do, a large bin is a bit overwhelming. Having to much to sift through makes it seem like an even larger task. In our house, we are encouraging the idea of being thorough with the activities, projects or chores we have to complete or chose to do. We are learning how to look carefully with our eyes and sometimes our hands or whole bodies to find the things we are looking for!


Sifting through rice can be very engaging for a small child!


If you have enjoyed our simple rice play, please take a look at my collection of super easy rice sensory bin ideas! I have found clever and easy ways to play from what you already have plus a bag of rice! (click the picture below to take you to the post)

More Great Sensory & Fine Motor Play Ideas!

Rice Sensory Bins All Year Longportable mini sensory bins for fine motor skills activities10 Fine Motor Sensory Bins


  1. So many beneficial things about this sensory idea – fine motor skills, alphabet recognition, just plain fun. Great idea!

  2. What a fantastic idea! So many levels of stimulation. Finding the letters, matching them on the card, using modified chop sticks for dexterity, and the sense of touch. Thank you for this post.

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