As it is harvest season I thought it was the perfect opportunity to create a Harvest Tuff Spot.This isn’t our first farm themed activity. In our Old MacDonald Tuff Spot we used food items for the animals to stand on and in our Harvest Sensory Bin we used cereals to transport around the farm. This time I wanted our Tuff Spot to focus on harvesting vegetables.
First I had to work out how to get the vegetables to stand up by themselves in a straight line. I decided to make brown coloured playdough and place it in strips inside the Tuff Spot. I could then push the vegetables into the playdough in neat rows. We inserted mini carrots, potatoes, button mushrooms, radishes, baby sweetcorn and spring onions into the playdough.
As it had rained a lot over the previous few days I didn’t want to use wet soil in our Tuff Spot. I had to find an alternative so decided to use rice. Usually when I colour rice I use a zip-loc bag and add food colouring and vinegar. However, I didn’t want our Harvest Tuff Spot to smell of vinegar so I created brown coloured rice in another way. I poured value long grain rice into a bowl and mixed in brown paint. Once the rice was covered in brown paint I transferred the rice onto a baking tray covered in baking paper. I used three 1KG bags of rice and created 6 baking trays. I left the rice to dry overnight, although it was completely dry within a couple of hours. The only difference between using food colouring and paint to dye the rice is that the paint option can cause the rice to dry in clumps. To overcome this I simply took handfuls of the rice and sprinkled it around our Tuff Spot.
I used five baking trays of rice to cover the space in between the playdough strips and up to car track. It was quite deep in places.
I then used the final baking tray of rice to cover the playdough. The final Tuff Spot looked like the vegetables were standing up by themselves. As a finishing touch I added lolly sticks to create dividers in our vegetable patch.
At the last minute I added a shopping basket which Adam used immediately. He pulled out each carrot in turn and counted them individually whilst placing them in the basket. Once the carrots were harvested he did the same with the button mushrooms and potatoes.
Adam was fascinated by the radishes. He kept calling them red potatoes!
After a lot of counting Adam finished harvesting the vegetables. What was great about using the playdough was that within a couple of minutes I had replaced all the vegetables again and Adam could carry on harvesting.
Once the vegetables had been harvested for a third time we thoroughly washed them and made a vegetable soup. The mud coloured rice has been placed into an air-tight container and we will reuse it in another sensory bin soon.
* Small vegetables – we used mini carrots, potatoes, button mushrooms, radishes, baby sweetcorn and spring onions
* Value long grain rice – we used 3 1KG bags
* Brown paint
* Baking trays and Baking paper
* Lolly stick
* Shopping basket
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