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  #1  
Old 12-14-2010, 08:29 AM
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Default Rice Table Frustration

My husband built a lovely wooden rice table for the kids. I finally filled it with rice this week (after much anticipation--from me!) and opened it up for the kids. What a MESS! Rice is going everywhere. I feel like such a shrew saying, "in the table! in the table! keep it in the table!" but the kids are literally flinging it to and fro, over their shoulders, etc. They love it but I'm getting antsy. I finally had to take my son away from the table today after multiple reminders that we can't throw the rice all over the floor.

Kids ages: 2.5 y.o., 20 mo (my son), 16 mo., and 18mo.--But those last two aren't ever on the same day.

Any suggestions? Should I just put up with it or pack the table away until they're a little older?
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2010, 08:32 AM
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take the rice out and start with something more manageable until they get the hang of it. you can try most anything:

packing peanuts
cut up pieces of tissue paper in many colors
leaves
bigger "food" items like beans, they are easier to clean up
cotton balls
pom poms



Once they get used to it, then add rice, or preferably sand, which is easy to vacuum and soesn't hurt the vacuum.
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2010, 08:59 AM
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Yup, I agree with Crystal. Try larger items. Kids even love having a small amount of 'sensory' item with the dinosaurs/animals/cups/small blocks thrown in. They'll be less likely to throw it everywhere.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:02 AM
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I did a rice bin and left it in the kitchen, omg talk about a mess (my ds was in love with it so much) but it gets into every little creves and when it gets wet and it starts to mold, its so stinky. I have a table I should clean up and put something in it, but I got dumpers and I can see it as a headache.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:43 PM
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I agree try something else, even dry beans would be easier than rice. They have a rice bin at my dd's sunday school class and whenever I help out in there I spent the entire story time cleaning up the rice for the teacher. Yuck.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:47 PM
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I I like the others' suggestions. You could even do themes of smaller toys until they can handle tiny rice.
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:55 PM
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I strongly believe that the benefits of a sensory tub far outweigh the headache once you get the kiddos trained.

Start by you being right there with the children. I only allow two kids at a time. If they throw it around, their turn is over for a while. Tantrum will likely follow, but be friendly and firm.

Don't pack it away. The kids love it.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2010, 03:13 PM
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I agree with others about using larger items to start out with and limit the number of children who use it to two. Have the rest of the kids sit and observe if they can to see how it works with the others using it. Don't put too much in their to start with to avoid the extra mess. Hope it works out better for you.
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:25 PM
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I dont have a rice table but I have a big bin that I use for sensory. I put it on the small table they eat at and that way its level with them. When I put it down on the floor, they started dumping it everywhere. Up on the table seems to be less messy for some reason. I never leave them because they will start dumping it on the floor, etc. Also Ive noticed the longer they play the messier they get. Limit the time they play. I use rice at mine. The kids are 3 years old and the other 2 are 2 years old in January.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:00 AM
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I had to put mine outside on the deck.
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  #11  
Old 12-15-2010, 04:26 AM
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I don't have a sensory table. The only table I have is a duplo block table. I'm pretty sure a rice table here would end up costing me a ton of money to maintain. I try to stay away from toys that require a lot of staff time. I would rather put the money into toys that don't to add to our toy collection and use for future generations of kids.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:17 AM
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Thanks so much! I felt like I was overreacting but it's good to hear that others had a similar issue. I ended up putting all the bright, colorful plastic balls in it and they enjoyed it very much. Much less stressful! I gave them spoons to stir the "soup" and they liked tasting the balls.
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2010, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsJoy View Post
My husband built a lovely wooden rice table for the kids. I finally filled it with rice this week (after much anticipation--from me!) and opened it up for the kids. What a MESS! Rice is going everywhere. I feel like such a shrew saying, "in the table! in the table! keep it in the table!" but the kids are literally flinging it to and fro, over their shoulders, etc. They love it but I'm getting antsy. I finally had to take my son away from the table today after multiple reminders that we can't throw the rice all over the floor.

Kids ages: 2.5 y.o., 20 mo (my son), 16 mo., and 18mo.--But those last two aren't ever on the same day.

Any suggestions? Should I just put up with it or pack the table away until they're a little older?
Instead of rice we did elbow macaroni. It still gets on the floor, but at least I can see them and pick them up. The kids LOVE it!
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  #14  
Old 12-15-2010, 07:12 AM
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Try putting the table inside of a small wading pool and restricting the amount of kids that use it. I agree with the previous poster that if they throw or abuse the privilege in any way to remove them for the day. When any item is new it will be the 'favorite' for a few days and you will have to shadow the area and train their behavior. Personally I prefer rice or sand because it can be sucked up in the vacuum where as larger items get stuck. Just keep a small clean shop vacuum handy and after it is sucked up dump it back in. The kids like vacuuming too.
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  #15  
Old 12-15-2010, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Childminder View Post
Try putting the table inside of a small wading pool and restricting the amount of kids that use it. I agree with the previous poster that if they throw or abuse the privilege in any way to remove them for the day. When any item is new it will be the 'favorite' for a few days and you will have to shadow the area and train their behavior. Personally I prefer rice or sand because it can be sucked up in the vacuum where as larger items get stuck. Just keep a small clean shop vacuum handy and after it is sucked up dump it back in. The kids like vacuuming too.
I really like the wading pool idea! Then you can just dump the spilled material back in.
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  #16  
Old 12-15-2010, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
I really like the wading pool idea! Then you can just dump the spilled material back in.
two thoughts: That would be a lot of real estate in the room. You would also have to remove it from their socks/feet before they stepped out.
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  #17  
Old 12-15-2010, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25 View Post
I really like the wading pool idea! Then you can just dump the spilled material back in.
two thoughts: That would be a lot of real estate in the room. You would also have to remove it from their socks/feet before they stepped out.
Never been an issue, the pool is the tiny one, about 48" diameter and my table is 24x36. I also put the playdoh table and two chairs in it to confine the doh droppings. Nothing I hate more than playdoh tracked over my floor. They just tell when they want out and I brush them off.
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