If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I absolutely LOVE all things sensory play! It’s one of my favourite types of invitations to prepare for our little learners.

Over the years, we’ve created lots of different Christmas sensory tubs and with Christmas fast approaching, we’ve started some festive themed sensory play! Today I’m going to share how we made our red and green Christmas chickpeas!

How to colour your chickpeas

First, grab two bags of dried chickpeas from your local supermarket. You’ll likely be able to find these in the soup aisle! Next, you’ll just need some acrylic paints in Christmas colours. I opted for classic red and green. I was originally looking for metallic colours but my local dollar shop didn’t have any left.

Next, you’ll just need some sandwich bags or containers to make the chickpeas in as well as a sheet of baking paper to dry the chickpeas on.

Making the coloured chickpeas is so incredibly easy! Simply add a cup of chickpeas to your sandwich bag with a good squirt of acrylic paint. About 1 tablespoon should be plenty.

Seal the bag up and then shake the chickpeas around. Be sure not to overfill your bag like I did because they will burst open and painted chickpeas will go EVERYWHERE haha!

You might need to squish the bag around a bit to get the colours distributed onto all of the chickpeas evenly. Once they’re covered, you can just pour them out onto a sheet of baking paper to dry. I ended up using two bags of the chickpeas – one entire bag with red chickpeas and another bag with green chickpeas.

Setting up your Christmas sensory tub

Next, I added our dried chickpeas to a sensory tub (this one is just from Kmart) with some of our favourite bowls and utensils. I actually really love using aluminum pots and pans with our chickpeas because they make such a beautiful sound as you mix them around or drop them into the metal pots.

You could add some red and green bowls or containers to encourage colour sorting or even some little tongs or tweezers to really work those fine motor skills. The options are only limited by your imagination!

Sensory tubs like these are perfect for developing a wide range of skills like hand-eye coordination and fine motor manipulation.

As your little learner scoops and pours, they’ll be exploring early measurement and capacity concepts such as empty and full while developing their mathematical vocabulary with terms like ‘holds more’ and ‘holds less.’

Looking for more simple sensory play ideas like this one?

Don’t forget to grab yourself a copy of my brand new book, Sensory Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers. It’s full of simple recipes and sensory tub ideas for your little learner. Each activity also includes extension ideas so you’ll never be stuck for ideas again!

About the author

Casey is an early years teacher turned homeschooling mum of three who passionate about helping other parents create a play-filled home. She loves adventure days outside in nature and loves a good sensory tub. You can follow Casey on Instagram right here.

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