• Nicola Hanson

Sustainable Stocking!

Fill your stocking with fun and laughter!

There is a big trend this year towards sustainability and a return to a less materialistic ideal of Christmas. With this in mind I have been rethinking my sons Christmas stocking; usually it costs me a fortune and the small toys and trinkets often don’t make it in to January in terms of valuable play. So I trialled something different - I chucked out the plastic and replaced it with rice, couscous, biodegradable glitter, cornflour, conditioner and a wooden spoon. I already had an empty Quality Street tin which created a fantastic new play bowl, the perfect size and shape for little hands.

Now, I had hoped to explain how my boy had explored each element but, three days in, he is still playing with glittered rice - says it all really! I extended his play by simply adding some things from the kitchen like egg cups, measuring cups and spoons. My top tip? Sit on a blanket or an old sheet when playing with things like rice or couscous; then when finished you can simply tip it all back into the tub.

For a deeper sensory experience that smells good and leaves hands feeling silky soft, add a big blob of conditioner to the cornflour and mix with your hands.

To add an additional layer of sensory play to rice, just add a few drops of vanilla essence, ginger oil or peppermint for a calming and Christmassy fragrance.

So now we are onto our second tin of sweets which will no doubt provide a myriad of play opportunities (at least, that is my excuse sorted). And don’t forget all the lovely craft opportunities you can explore with all of the foil and cellophane wrappers!

Have a happy festive season, everyone!

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