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  #1  
Old 03-21-2019, 02:28 PM
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Default Should Food Be Used for Sensory Play?

I went to a workshop last week and the instructor asked us what kind of sensory play we do for the kids at our Daycare the workshop was a review of the book " No more Teaching a Letter a Week by Rebecca McKay", the instructor asked us what games and activities we use for letter practice, since I'm always involved in these workshops told her that I use all kinds of games and activities from posting letters on the ceiling and having the kids pick a letter to nap under to using colored rice , noodles in my sensory bin and have the kids use tweezers to spell out words which works for sensory play, fine motor skills and works their cognitive skills.
I noticed after I gave her my example she was looking a little upset and in some kind of tune she said " you work with dry food produces knowing that there are starving children in the world" this caught me do off guard I felt very embarrassed mind you! I was in a room with my state licensor system directors and about 20 other home child care providers


so I had to think fast under all that pressure so I was really honest , and mind you I respect what others opinion would be on this topic , I replied " preschool age children need to learn about their world in a real and concrete way before they are ready to deal with larger life issues. I include food in sensory play for their cognitive development because I think if you want to teach children about food you need to first give them the opportunity to explore it , feel it , taste it , smell it, and even let them play with it . also learning through play I believe that children learn through play , so this should be true in their exploration of food as well, and problem solving they toss it off their sensory bin pick it up etc.", and so much more I I just went on and on because I was questioning this matter


then after i gave her my opinion she went on saying that the quality rating scale doesn't want you using food as part of a sensory practice ( which I don't use all the time MIND YOU ) because it brings up concerns regarding lower income families, she said some kids have high stress about what their going to eat when they get home that they stuff their pockets of rice, beans, noodles etc. also knowing the families philosophical beliefs about how important food is , their culture and so on .


so LADIES WHAT IS YOUR opinion in this matter??



YES for food ( stale noodles or rice) for sensory play


or NO for food for sensory play TIP using bird seeds instead of rice for those rainbow sensory bin ideas.


at the end of the workshop we stayed an extra 40 minutes discussing this around as providers and we ended up giving each other tips for sensory play .. and instructor didn't even say good by to me.
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Old 03-21-2019, 03:12 PM
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I've used food for sensory play. Call me bad. It certainly can't be any worse than throwing away disgusting amounts of food we offer, because of food program rules, that the dcks won't eat.
FWIW, my rice tub is at least 5 yrs. old and my smaller bucket of pasta that I have set aside for projects is even older.
IMO there are so many ridiculous rules of what we can/cannot do, it boggles the mind.
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Old 03-21-2019, 03:28 PM
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Early childhood professionals have always taught that using food for art or sensory play is culturally insensitive
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Old 03-21-2019, 03:35 PM
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First of all she was extremely rude. She is worried about how low income families feel but could not extend any kindness to you? Very backwards thinking.

I am an ECE so we learned this as well and in a utopian world it makes perfect sense..you are so entitled that you see food as play when people are starving. I get it on an intellectual level but I think it is a dumb arguement. Is me not buying pasta to put in my sensory bin somehow helping starving people? It is very similar to people getting on their high horse with regards to sweat shops. Some of these people have nowhere else to work! Its either sweat shop or sex slavery (another topic entirely I know but similar arguement).

I also think it is irresponsible to tell daycare providers to not use cheap products in their sensory bins when most childcare providers are some of the lowest paid workers in the workforce. Most ECE’s and DCP’s barely make enough to get them above the poverty line. So as long as I am making a crappy wage while working 50 hours a week I will fill my bins with cheap lentils, pasta etc.
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:42 PM
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No, we don't teach children to play with food. Grow food? yes. Prepare food? yes. Eat food? yes. Waste food by playing with it? NO
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:20 PM
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The first FCCERS QRIS assessment allowed for me to use dried pinto beans for sensory, but the Revised version stopped that and now I use birdseed which is still food but for animals?
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:57 PM
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I know she was very rude , and she should have taken a better route explaining to me her point ,

and as for food as play .. i get it i really do they don't want us teaching the kids that food can be played with or insult those children that con from a culture that rice is respected and its insulting to be playing with things you eat and we should respect these families , but come on i remember using macaroni noodles in art class. using Kool aid for coloring eggs for Easter and some still us this. i think there should be BALANCE that's why we teach our daycare kids and own children the value of food and hoe some don't have food.

but now i see how sensitive every issue is and how careful we should be in teaching these kids.. skmh
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:59 PM
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The best article I've read about this topic:

https://tinkerlab.com/food-used-todd...ry-activities/
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
I've used food for sensory play. Call me bad. It certainly can't be any worse than throwing away disgusting amounts of food we offer, because of food program rules, that the dcks won't eat.
FWIW, my rice tub is at least 5 yrs. old and my smaller bucket of pasta that I have set aside for projects is even older.
IMO there are so many ridiculous rules of what we can/cannot do, it boggles the mind.
Same here with my rice tub! I also made homemade moon sand using flour and baby oil. I guess I could’ve gone with alternatives....perler beads instead of rice, and REAL moon sand instead of flour. But guess what? My kids would have missed out on the experiences altogether, because I simply cannot afford to fill a huge tub with those things.
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Old 03-22-2019, 04:26 AM
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I can see both sides, but I use some food items in crafts or sensory play because frankly it's fun and the kids enjoy it. I am not taking food from someone who needs it by buying something at a store. It also doesn't preclude me from donating $, food, or time to others. I've worked in centers where we didn't use food and it didn't cause me any problems making lesson plans.

My bigger issue is with the presenter. You be rude to me like that and I'm going to tell you to shove it up your virtue signaling a$$. Honestly things like this in my opinion is one of ECE's biggest problems- "experts" who take things to the point the average parent or non-professional will hear it and be between and . This is a major reason I flat out refuse to participate in FCCRS/ QRIS or whatever IL is calling it now.

I'm sorry you went through that. Regardless of the subject matter your presenter acted like an idiot.
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:19 AM
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I would have had a hard time not letting my eyes roll all the way to the back of my head. Macaroni artwork, colored noodle necklaces, play dough, bean bags filled with rice, ect...these are all fun activities that dont cost a lot to make and are fun and developmentally appropriate for kids. I know there are hungry kids, but America using food insecurity as an argument for not allowing certain play is pretty laughable. She could have said choking issues or sanitation issues, but the "starving kids in africa" mentality is so old and out of touch. We seem to live in a society where two things can't exist at the same time. Children can't play with food or make artwork out of it because of other kids who are starving. Versus letting kids play with food and make artwork, and also doing things like sponsoring a food drive, speaking about nutrition and good health, donating to the food pantry, ect. Instead, we limit one child's opportunities because of the restrictions on another child's opportunities. It's kind of like telling a child not to run, because some children are disabled and unable to walk. The ability to teach children compassion and empathy for other people's unfortunate situations is not limited by the use of food for play. Children are not starving in this world because little Johnny used macaroni on his picture. I probably would have left when she degraded my ideas to keep kids learning and creative and having fun.
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:54 AM
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It has nothing to do with the noodles you use or something as simple as saying "Kids are starving so we don't use food as art".
It's not about the actual food.

It's about sensitivity and understanding in regards to how others feel and think about food. There are plenty of non-edible materials that we can use verses food items.

Using food items can lend to the idea that food is abundant and not really valuable. Imagine how young Timmy feels when he is instructed to glue noodles on his art project when he would love nothing more than to have something so filling as noodles tonight for dinner.

Unless you've had a truly hungry child/family in care it's hard to explain how they feel/act/behave in regards to food. Unless you've actually experienced what it's like to not have an adequate food supply it IS difficult to understand why using food is so insensitive.

Playing with food in general in my honest opinion is disrespectful and disregarding the fact that many cultures value food in many different ways is ignorant and shows that we are privileged enough to not have a full understanding of this topic.

It's not about the actual food.

Best practice means being respectful and not just according to the make up of your group at the time.

I don't think providers that use food are bad.
I just think that there is probably not a full understanding of the topic in general and that our culture lends to this just as other cultures lend to their beliefs.

There are so many other alternatives that are so readily available that it shouldn't even be a debatable topic at all.

Just my two cents....
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyneedsadayoff View Post
I would have had a hard time not letting my eyes roll all the way to the back of my head. Macaroni artwork, colored noodle necklaces, play dough, bean bags filled with rice, ect...these are all fun activities that dont cost a lot to make and are fun and developmentally appropriate for kids. I know there are hungry kids, but America using food insecurity as an argument for not allowing certain play is pretty laughable. She could have said choking issues or sanitation issues, but the "starving kids in africa" mentality is so old and out of touch. We seem to live in a society where two things can't exist at the same time. Children can't play with food or make artwork out of it because of other kids who are starving. Versus letting kids play with food and make artwork, and also doing things like sponsoring a food drive, speaking about nutrition and good health, donating to the food pantry, ect. Instead, we limit one child's opportunities because of the restrictions on another child's opportunities. It's kind of like telling a child not to run, because some children are disabled and unable to walk. The ability to teach children compassion and empathy for other people's unfortunate situations is not limited by the use of food for play. Children are not starving in this world because little Johnny used macaroni on his picture. I probably would have left when she degraded my ideas to keep kids learning and creative and having fun.
I completely agree with you.
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:21 AM
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It has nothing to do with the noodles you use or something as simple as saying "Kids are starving so we don't use food as art".
It's not about the actual food.

It's about sensitivity and understanding in regards to how others feel and think about food. There are plenty of non-edible materials that we can use verses food items.

Using food items can lend to the idea that food is abundant and not really valuable. Imagine how young Timmy feels when he is instructed to glue noodles on his art project when he would love nothing more than to have something so filling as noodles tonight for dinner.

Unless you've had a truly hungry child/family in care it's hard to explain how they feel/act/behave in regards to food. Unless you've actually experienced what it's like to not have an adequate food supply it IS difficult to understand why using food is so insensitive.

Playing with food in general in my honest opinion is disrespectful and disregarding the fact that many cultures value food in many different ways is ignorant and shows that we are privileged enough to not have a full understanding of this topic.

It's not about the actual food.

Best practice means being respectful and not just according to the make up of your group at the time.

I don't think providers that use food are bad.
I just think that there is probably not a full understanding of the topic in general and that our culture lends to this just as other cultures lend to their beliefs.

There are so many other alternatives that are so readily available that it shouldn't even be a debatable topic at all.

Just my two cents....
I completely respect your opinion and appreciate the different perspective. I have worked with children who have food insecurities and I have dealt with my own growing up. I've also dealt with a lot of kids who have plenty of access to food, but have actual fears of a food due to being forced to eat or punished for not eating. The amount of pressure that parents put on a child to eat, can be very hard for the child to handle. I think it's incredibly sad that in a country with an abundance of food , money, and accessibility to government assistance, that any child goes to bed hungry. I know food is a very sensitive issue for some people, but I guess I handle it in the same way I handle a lot of other things, related to food or any other subject. I address them and get to the root of the issue and see where I can make an impact.

We contribute to the summer food program and the snack pack program. These programs ensure access to a meal in the summer everyday, as well as snacks over the weekend during the school year and summer. We donate to the food pantry and serve weekly meals at our church. My current company works with a harvest program and donates thousands of dollars of food per month.

I like to teach my own children to be compassionate to the plight of others and to be respectful to those in need, but I dont feel limiting food to only eating is a necessary reaction to a serious issue. I have grown up, as well as used in my own daycare, items like pasta noodles, rice, dry beans, homemade Play-Doh, flour and baby oil, ect for years. They are relatively cheap household items that offer fun and creative play for children. And I don't know if it's a higher power, but we always seem to have a lot of those items sitting in the cupboard. Making Play-Doh was a very common occurrence in our house. And I prefer to work with those items instead of plastic products and such. I also love working with dirt, water, wood, really any natural stuff. And I swear I'm not some crunchy granola type! I just like simple stuff and I really enjoyed playing with food growing up. If I ever felt it was a problem for a child in my care, I would definitely readdress the issue. But so far, it's just been fun.

But I do think the instructor in this case did not make her point very well. Certainly not as well as you made your point. Its too bad you don't teach those classes!
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:36 AM
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I think that some people take pleasure in demeaning others for their choices . I am a believer in what works for one, may not work for all. The “know it all” attitude happens all the time, but it is never ok to make someone feel bad. If we were talking about kids acting like this , the word bully may or may not be used.

I have a mason jar with rice And many objects and it.Are use it as my settle down jar. The kids kind a move it around and find different objects in it. I think it helps distract them from their time out. It helps them in my opinion to settle their mind and not be angry for being on time out. Just because I have a race in this jar does not mean I am insensitive to anyone in any country who is without food. I volunteer for many
food drives through the schools and the churches in the area.

I think there’s just a lot of people who want to take something innocent and interpret it to be something outrageous. But again that’s my opinion, and this applies to the What works for one may not work for all. If you want to use pasta in art, make the best darn art sculpture you can possibly make.
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:36 AM
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if we don't use dry rice and beans for sensory activities does it help somehow to starving people in other countries?
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:54 AM
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I just saw this posted on Pintrest, and honestly, I had never heard of this concern until this post.
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyneedsadayoff View Post
I completely respect your opinion and appreciate the different perspective. I have worked with children who have food insecurities and I have dealt with my own growing up. I've also dealt with a lot of kids who have plenty of access to food, but have actual fears of a food due to being forced to eat or punished for not eating. The amount of pressure that parents put on a child to eat, can be very hard for the child to handle. I think it's incredibly sad that in a country with an abundance of food , money, and accessibility to government assistance, that any child goes to bed hungry. I know food is a very sensitive issue for some people, but I guess I handle it in the same way I handle a lot of other things, related to food or any other subject. I address them and get to the root of the issue and see where I can make an impact.

We contribute to the summer food program and the snack pack program. These programs ensure access to a meal in the summer everyday, as well as snacks over the weekend during the school year and summer. We donate to the food pantry and serve weekly meals at our church. My current company works with a harvest program and donates thousands of dollars of food per month.

I like to teach my own children to be compassionate to the plight of others and to be respectful to those in need, but I dont feel limiting food to only eating is a necessary reaction to a serious issue. I have grown up, as well as used in my own daycare, items like pasta noodles, rice, dry beans, homemade Play-Doh, flour and baby oil, ect for years. They are relatively cheap household items that offer fun and creative play for children. And I don't know if it's a higher power, but we always seem to have a lot of those items sitting in the cupboard. Making Play-Doh was a very common occurrence in our house. And I prefer to work with those items instead of plastic products and such. I also love working with dirt, water, wood, really any natural stuff. And I swear I'm not some crunchy granola type! I just like simple stuff and I really enjoyed playing with food growing up. If I ever felt it was a problem for a child in my care, I would definitely readdress the issue. But so far, it's just been fun.

But I do think the instructor in this case did not make her point very well. Certainly not as well as you made your point. Its too bad you don't teach those classes!

Agreed on all points!
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mommyneedsadayoff View Post
I completely respect your opinion and appreciate the different perspective. I have worked with children who have food insecurities and I have dealt with my own growing up. I've also dealt with a lot of kids who have plenty of access to food, but have actual fears of a food due to being forced to eat or punished for not eating. The amount of pressure that parents put on a child to eat, can be very hard for the child to handle. I think it's incredibly sad that in a country with an abundance of food , money, and accessibility to government assistance, that any child goes to bed hungry. I know food is a very sensitive issue for some people, but I guess I handle it in the same way I handle a lot of other things, related to food or any other subject. I address them and get to the root of the issue and see where I can make an impact.

We contribute to the summer food program and the snack pack program. These programs ensure access to a meal in the summer everyday, as well as snacks over the weekend during the school year and summer. We donate to the food pantry and serve weekly meals at our church. My current company works with a harvest program and donates thousands of dollars of food per month.

I like to teach my own children to be compassionate to the plight of others and to be respectful to those in need, but I dont feel limiting food to only eating is a necessary reaction to a serious issue. I have grown up, as well as used in my own daycare, items like pasta noodles, rice, dry beans, homemade Play-Doh, flour and baby oil, ect for years. They are relatively cheap household items that offer fun and creative play for children. And I don't know if it's a higher power, but we always seem to have a lot of those items sitting in the cupboard. Making Play-Doh was a very common occurrence in our house. And I prefer to work with those items instead of plastic products and such. I also love working with dirt, water, wood, really any natural stuff. And I swear I'm not some crunchy granola type! I just like simple stuff and I really enjoyed playing with food growing up. If I ever felt it was a problem for a child in my care, I would definitely readdress the issue. But so far, it's just been fun.

But I do think the instructor in this case did not make her point very well. Certainly not as well as you made your point. Its too bad you don't teach those classes!
Thank you!

I do have to add that I compartmentalize this type of thing.

How I feel personally often differs in comparison to how I feel professionally. Meaning what I do within my program may or may not be completely different than what I would/wouldn't do with my own kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostMyMarbles View Post
I think that some people take pleasure in demeaning others for their choices . I am a believer in what works for one, may not work for all. The “know it all” attitude happens all the time, but it is never ok to make someone feel bad. If we were talking about kids acting like this , the word bully may or may not be used.
Are you referring to me as a bully/know it all or the instructor?
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:42 PM
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That presenter was rude and incredibly sanctimonious. I give you credit for not walking out on her. Hopefully, there was an evaluation form given out at the end of her lecture (and I do mean lecture!) so you could let her know how unprofessional she was.

I'm torn on this issue because I can see merit in arguments both for and against the use of food in play.
I don't use food in a lot of my crafts and activities probably in part because I was taught not to waste food but more so because I worry about attracting ants! (I had one kid stuff food under my tv cabinet and I didn't realize it until I noticed the ant trail.) Every once in a while, though, I do use food for a craft if it looks like fun and is apropos to what we're learning at the time.

I don't see using food in a craft or activity as disrespectful or insensitive in and of itself but I could see where it might be if my clients were struggling to afford food, had a child with allergies or food sensitivities or otherwise had objections for cultural reasons. In those cases, I would try to be respectful and sensitive to their feelings by choosing not to do a craft or activity that involved food or if I felt strongly about its use, I would explain and give them the option not to have their child take part in the activity.

I wonder if the workshop instructor enjoys an occasional hamburger or steak despite the fact that there are those in the world who see cows as holy? I wonder if she drove to the workshop in her gas powered, air polluting car when there are others who have to walk miles to work (if they can get work)? Does she take a hot shower every day or allow her child to swim in a pool or play in a water table despite the fact that there are children in the world who are dying from lack of water? Does she live in a McMansion despite the fact that there are children in the world who are living in cars, tents, mud huts...? Would she consider herself disrespectful or culturally insensitive or is it just the use of some rice or a box of macaroni that makes her get up on her high horse?
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:22 PM
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I avoid plastics and other pollutants when possible. Trash trickles down to the poor and to the natural world. My consumption and disposal of materials DOES affect other communities far away from me, and I want my daycare kids to grow up noticing and questioning the use of humanmade, nonbiodegradable materials. What sensory bin fillers are out there for people who don't want to pay into the manufacturing of pollutants, or add more pollutants to the landfill once the sensory bin contents have reached the end of their usability?
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:43 PM
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I avoid plastics and other pollutants when possible. Trash trickles down to the poor and to the natural world. My consumption and disposal of materials DOES affect other communities far away from me, and I want my daycare kids to grow up noticing and questioning the use of humanmade, nonbiodegradable materials. What sensory bin fillers are out there for people who don't want to pay into the manufacturing of pollutants, or add more pollutants to the landfill once the sensory bin contents have reached the end of their usability?
Yes, what alternative, that doesn't add to the huge plastic problem, is there for sensory bins?
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:16 PM
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wonder what she would say about using flour? We do lots of stuff with flour. Im early head start so no food.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:50 AM
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Rolling up to my house in an Escalade, wearing high heels, fake nails, thick makeup, sharpee brows, hair extensions, 30 pieces of jewelry, reeking of perfume, complaining about cattle gaps and judging the 1 to 5 "comfort level" of my rural home and land is culturally insensitive.

I am a little burned out with the double standards.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:29 AM
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That presenter was rude and incredibly sanctimonious. I give you credit for not walking out on her. Hopefully, there was an evaluation form given out at the end of her lecture (and I do mean lecture!) so you could let her know how unprofessional she was.

I'm torn on this issue because I can see merit in arguments both for and against the use of food in play.
I don't use food in a lot of my crafts and activities probably in part because I was taught not to waste food but more so because I worry about attracting ants! (I had one kid stuff food under my tv cabinet and I didn't realize it until I noticed the ant trail.) Every once in a while, though, I do use food for a craft if it looks like fun and is apropos to what we're learning at the time.

I don't see using food in a craft or activity as disrespectful or insensitive in and of itself but I could see where it might be if my clients were struggling to afford food, had a child with allergies or food sensitivities or otherwise had objections for cultural reasons. In those cases, I would try to be respectful and sensitive to their feelings by choosing not to do a craft or activity that involved food or if I felt strongly about its use, I would explain and give them the option not to have their child take part in the activity.

I wonder if the workshop instructor enjoys an occasional hamburger or steak despite the fact that there are those in the world who see cows as holy? I wonder if she drove to the workshop in her gas powered, air polluting car when there are others who have to walk miles to work (if they can get work)? Does she take a hot shower every day or allow her child to swim in a pool or play in a water table despite the fact that there are children in the world who are dying from lack of water? Does she live in a McMansion despite the fact that there are children in the world who are living in cars, tents, mud huts...? Would she consider herself disrespectful or culturally insensitive or is it just the use of some rice or a box of macaroni that makes her get up on her high horse?
Well said. Great examples, especially the water.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:07 AM
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My bigger issue is with the presenter. You be rude to me like that and I'm going to tell you to shove it up your virtue signaling a$$. Honestly things like this in my opinion is one of ECE's biggest problems- "experts" who take things to the point the average parent or non-professional will hear it and be between and . This is a major reason I flat out refuse to participate in FCCRS/ QRIS or whatever IL is calling it now.

I'm sorry you went through that. Regardless of the subject matter your presenter acted like an idiot.
This! All of this!!! This is why I decided to stick with my license exempt group of 4. The nitpicking and micromanaging and the rules that even the departments will admit don't make sense or contradict each other and I'm stuck in the middle trying to march to the beat of everyone's drums? No thank you!
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:25 AM
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Thank you!

I do have to add that I compartmentalize this type of thing.

How I feel personally often differs in comparison to how I feel professionally. Meaning what I do within my program may or may not be completely different than what I would/wouldn't do with my own kids.



Are you referring to me as a bully/know it all or the instructor?
I Musta posted my reply late in the game. I thought we were talking about the instructor, not you black cat. I wasn’t saying anyone specifically. I was saying in general anyone who makes people feel bad and takes pleasure from that is a bully. Unfortunately it happens all the time. And even as adults we need to learn how to deal with it To the bestTo the best of our ability.

I feel bad for the original poster. You want to join in and participate, but at the same time,You are afraid of getting ridiculed if your response is not the popular opinion.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 03-25-2019 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:29 AM
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I Musta posted my reply late in the game. I thought we were talking about the instructor, not you black cat. I wasn’t saying anyone specifically. I was saying in general anyone who makes people feel bad and takes pleasure from that is a bully. Unfortunately it happens all the time. And even as adults we need to learn how to deal with it To the bestTo the best of our ability.

I feel bad for the original poster. You want to join in and participate, but at the same time,You are afraid of getting ridiculed if your response is not the popular opinion.
No worries, I was just clarifying.
Sometimes it's hard to tell who everyone is replying to or just replying in general.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:35 AM
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Maybe I'm basic and misguided because I'm just a SAHM that keeps 4 children, but this is just another one of those things that is just too much. You're going to offend someone somewhere over something. I don't feel like this is the biggest sin one could commit. I've read the information on this, and I feel fine with my choices. If a family was offended by their child playing with rice, we're not a good match. I can't speak to a child being so hungry that they stuff their pockets from the sensory bin (which is sad, I agree) but does that mean that child care shouldn't have cleanliness or warmth or electricity or nice toys because the children might not have those at home either?

I keep the under 5 crowd and they love the feeling of running their hands through a tub full of rice or oatmeal! Heck, I do! At what other time does anyone get the chance to do it? The beach is the only experience like that and I haven't been in years! Plus, sand isn't edible.. Haha At the right age, about 3.5 and older, when they don't spill it everywhere and they can be left to sit for a bit, they'll play for 30-45 minutes with a tub of rice, a couple of reused yogurt cups and a reused formula scoop! I use large sized food storage bins with a lid. The rice in those containers is there for about 2 years with occasional top offs from accidental spills. I'm very big on reminding them not to spill so that we don't waste what is in the bin. I hate wasting anything! And as I've seen others say, I waste more throwing away uneaten food than I do having a few food storage bins of rice.

In child care, we're going to use supplies of some kind. How is a bag of rice that I am careful to use responsibly, any worse than finger paints or paper or pencils? There's a pro and a con to every option we choose. I prefer something that's sterile and edible in a situation like this.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:27 AM
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No worries, I was just clarifying.
Sometimes it's hard to tell who everyone is replying to or just replying in general.
I totally get what you’re saying. I’ve had that happen myself.The subject has come up many times with my sister. My she has a special needs son who loves sensory bins.It’s interesting to hear the different perspectives on what is acceptable and what is not.

Last edited by Blackcat31; 03-25-2019 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:01 AM
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This isn't food but I was bummed when they told us we could no longer use shaving cream in dc. We had so many cool projects and activities over the years using that stuff. I understand kids cannot eat it but what about glitter? Has that been discontinued in dcs? I remember an internet story about a young woman almost losing her eye due to infection from getting glitter in it. There are soooo many things that are gray areas. It all comes down to supervision and knowing your kids.

But like I said, this differs than the whole food topic.
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:21 AM
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I saw on Pinterest yesterday where they were telling you how to make a "fresh fruit sensory bin". It was apples, oranges, strawberries etc to mouth and play with. I guess (hope) it was supposed to be a home thing, but it felt weird and wong to me.

I will admit to using dry pantry items such as rice, beans, popcorn, etc as cheap, nontoxic sensory bin fillers.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:18 AM
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This isn't food but I was bummed when they told us we could no longer use shaving cream in dc. We had so many cool projects and activities over the years using that stuff. I understand kids cannot eat it but what about glitter? Has that been discontinued in dcs? I remember an internet story about a young woman almost losing her eye due to infection from getting glitter in it. There are soooo many things that are gray areas. It all comes down to supervision and knowing your kids.

But like I said, this differs than the whole food topic.
I dislike not being able to use shaving cream. I loved the way it cleaned the tables and made them smell while the kids played. I know there are alternatives, but it just isn't the same.
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:30 AM
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I’ve used various types of food for sensory play such as dried beans, rice, pasta, and cornmeal.

It’s sad that you can’t use shaving cream anymore Josiegirl. I love to use shaving cream in my classroom for both sensory and art. The kids love it and it makes the room smell so fresh and clean.
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:40 AM
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I saw on Pinterest yesterday where they were telling you how to make a "fresh fruit sensory bin". It was apples, oranges, strawberries etc to mouth and play with. I guess (hope) it was supposed to be a home thing, but it felt weird and wong to me.

I will admit to using dry pantry items such as rice, beans, popcorn, etc as cheap, nontoxic sensory bin fillers.
Yeah, produce doesn't seem appropriate, if only because it's a recipe for terrible table manners and because you're leading by example in food waste. Plus you certainly couldn't allow more than one child to use it before dumping it.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:38 AM
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Isn't the play doh you buy in stores made with flour? Is store bought play doh not an appropriate material either? Or is it okay because it is a product that is mass produced with the food (the flour) being hidden? Just wondering where the line is drawn?
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:51 AM
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Isn't the play doh you buy in stores made with flour? Is store bought play doh not an appropriate material either? Or is it okay because it is a product that is mass produced with the food (the flour) being hidden? Just wondering where the line is drawn?
The home made play dough my group uses is made with flour, salt, oil-all “edible foods”.
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:24 AM
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People are so hyper focused on one sticking point.

It's NOT about using food IN things.
It's NOT about actual food.
It's NOT about food waste/starving kids

It's about cultural respect and teaching children how other cultures value things we don't or perceive things differently than others.

Clearly as a society we don't view food the same way as others do. It's deeper than the actual bin of rice or beans.

It's not a black and white topic where you either use food or you don't. It's a much bigger broader subject with meaningful thoughts, ideals and concepts regarding how we use foods in the early childhood environment.

It's about attitudes and ideals we convey to children in the process of teaching and supporting diversity and cultural awareness.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
People are so hyper focused on one sticking point.

It's NOT about using food IN things.
It's NOT about actual food.
It's NOT about food waste/starving kids

It's about cultural respect and teaching children how other cultures value things we don't or perceive things differently than others.

Clearly as a society we don't view food the same way as others do. It's deeper than the actual bin of rice or beans.

It's not a black and white topic where you either use food or you don't. It's a much bigger broader subject with meaningful thoughts, ideals and concepts regarding how we use foods in the early childhood environment.

It's about attitudes and ideals we convey to children in the process of teaching and supporting diversity and cultural awareness.
It is about the food.

The teachings and respect go both ways. My attitude and ideal does not have to line up with everyone else. I feel the benefits of using some foods for play far out weight the negatives.

Best Practice- I don't want to be best. I want to be good and real and I want to find my own balance of what works for me. Not be cookie cuttered into something I am not.

I am creative. I love art. Art comes in many forms- it should never be made into one persons ideal way of thinking.

If someone didn't play with food you would not see all those fancy high class meals presented on the food/cooking channels and restaurants.

The starving child in my daycare is a much bigger problem then the child playing with colored rice. I also find that the children in my care are way too young to understand the cultural differences at this level. I find this to be an adult debate. The much broader topic at hand is way above our children's age appropriate capability.

I am not an unfeeling person or lack understanding of the poor, starving or different cultures because I let my children in my care play with rice, beans,water or noodles or play dough or paint.

I can teach how other cultures value things but it doesn't mean that I have to take on those same values.

I agree there is no black and white here and it should not be pushed on me one way or the other in my business of how I run my daycare.

Thanks BlackCat for the good read. I am still Pro food use in play/art. Usually most of the time, you and I line up in our daycare beliefs but on this one we will have to agree to disagree and that is ok! 3Cents
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:04 AM
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The home made play dough my group uses is made with flour, salt, oil-all “edible foods”.
So does store bought playdough. It's the same recipe except the add alum to make it unpleasant to eat. However, alum is used to make pickles, so still edible.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:05 AM
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I think playdough is only a food issue if you have the kids help make it. It's not recognizable as a food once it's made.
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