Frugal Toddler Activity: Rice Play

On Saturday when I was baking up a storm, I was also entertaining Ridley who can run circles around me all day long. Where do two year olds get all their energy?? :)

Ridley loves “doing dishes” or playing in the water, so I thought he might enjoy playing with some rice.

I gathered a pan, cups, measuring cups and plastic lids along with a bag of rice.

I’ve never seen Ridley stay in one place for such a long time. He entertained himself by moving the rice around, pouring, spilling, transferring, pouring over and over again. :)

I love his concentration.  Such a sweet little man.

What you don’t see in these pictures…is when he took a handful and threw it on the floor. I wasn’t upset because, I’m sure I probably would’ve done the same thing when I was two as well.

Sweeping up rice is super easy too. :)

Ridley loved playing with rice and I’m sure that we will do this again soon!

What’s your kids’ favorite frugal inside toddler activity?

Linked to: Works For Me Wednesday and Frugal Friday

  • Share This Post:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.


  1. My 4, 5, and 7 year olds played with rice today. We call it the Sensory Bucket. They played with it for over an hour.

    Now that you mention your two year old enjoyed it (with minimal mess), I’m considering letting my 21-month old twin boys try it tomorrow. You’re right, rice sweeps up easy!

  2. We do this with beans. I think it might be a little easier to clean up than rice. My daughter’s speech therapist had one of those plastic turtle sand boxes filled with bean. It was her favorite part of therapy and help her more than anything!

  3. What a wonderful idea. My grandaughter is 22 months old and that would be a great play time idea.

  4. Beans and rice are great to put inside various containers as well to see how the sounds changes. This can also occupy kids for hours as they search for different things to put the rice/beans inside of. Challenge them to see how creative they can get as well as compare what is the loudest and quietest.

  5. I keep meaning to do this with my boys…every time I open the rice bucket they come running and try their hardest to get their little hands in there to run their fingers through the rice.
    Judy´s last blog post ..Sidewalk Paint

  6. My kids loved playing with rice as preschoolers – their favorite thing was to use the little dumptrucks, etc to push it around. Now they are 6 and 8 and just asked to play with rice over the weekend!

  7. I’ve done this with beans as well! Katie loves it!
    Mama Chocolate´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday – Victoria has Two Expressions

  8. Hannah L. says:

    Awww…too cute!! Smart idea…and bet he had a blast! =)

  9. Lindsay says:

    It would be great for us, if only my 2 year old wouldn’t eat it. She eats everything. I’d probably be more inclined to use beans. Maybe after lunch one I’ll try

  10. johanna says:

    Beans are really fun and good sensory activity for toddlers as well. You can start doing this pretty young. Also, you can hide things in the beans/rice and have them find them, categorize them by color, etc. SO much you can do with toddlers. Enjoy the fun!

  11. Hi! Just wanted to encourage you (about the pagan blogs in the circle of moms contest) I really think God is doing something beyond all of us. Who knows how many pagan witches are going to Christian blogs (and hopefully get exposed ot the gospel) now b/c they are logging on to vote. I think God is up to something pretty great.

  12. A creative idea.I will try on doing with my child.Thanks fo your sharing
    Haley´s last blog post ..Making Your Own Computer Wallpaper

  13. We do this! I have 2 bins, one is filled with oatmeal and rice and the other is filled with beans. My kids love to play in these. We add hotwheel cars, construction trucks, spoons, cups, the possibilities are endless.
    Learning the Frugal Life´s last blog post ..Coupon Deals

  14. This is also something we do with out 2 and 4 year olds. Each has their own beans and rice bucket. I just want to warn anyone with small children that beans can be a potential choking hazard, so please, please keep that in mind.
    In Christ, Anna

  15. He’s two!? I feel like my two and half year old would take the bucket of rice dump it over his head, pull on his pull ups dump it down “there”, and drive his trucks through any rice that landed on the floor.

    {jealous} !!!


    Pamela @

  16. My kids still love playing in rice and they are almost 5 and 6. Another fun one to try is beans. We keep a plastic bin of each and they swap back and forth.

  17. Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
    marge´s last blog post ..whirligigs

  18. Both my girls (4 and 7) love being in the kitchen. They are now big into “making” mac and cheese. They make me proud when I see them stirring and asking Mom what that and why do you use that :)
    Vicky´s last blog post ..Yeast Infection Remedy

  19. Just wanted to let you know I use this in my classroom with children with special needs, 3-4 yr. olds. They love it and I hide things in the rice/beans and they look for it and can do all kinds of educational things with the sorting if you’d like. An easy clean up is taking a cheap plastic table cloth and setting the container on it and when the kids are done, I just pick it up, fold it to make a funnel and pour the ingredients back into the container!! Clean as can be.


  1. […] and allow you to get dinner prepared. Just a simple bag of uncooked rice is all you need for this rice play. Adding in some measuring cups, spoons and plastic dishes to allow your child’s imagination […]

Join the Conversation!


CommentLuv badge

© 2009–2015 All rights reserved.

No content on this site, including text and photos, may be reused in any fashion without written permission.

Site design by New Season Design.

Fabulous Friends Visiting