Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Great Rice Incident

My husband and I have an ongoing debate on the subject of what types of activities kids should do.  My opinion is that kids should be given as many opportunities for sensory exploration as possible; That splashing in water, digging in sand, and painting with their fingers (and feet) are an essential part of early learning.  My husband's opinion is that kids should not be given anything that could end up messy until they are old enough to play with it 'properly' (without making a mess).  One source of contention is the rice box...

I keep a shoe-box sized container full of rice for the kids to play with, and they absolutely LOVE it.  They enjoy scooping it up and filling various containers, hiding and retrieving plastic animals in it, and just generally having a good time exploring:

Whenever I bring it out, my husband groans and says that he would never let the kids play with rice.  And every time, the kids play nicely (sometimes for an hour or more), we sweep up any stray rice, and that's that! The other day the water table was inside the house due to high winds, so I dumped the rice inside and the girls played for a long time while I got some work done. 

Then my husband came upstairs and told me there was a fire close to our neighborhood and to pack a bag in case we had to leave our house.  So I went into the bedroom to put Baby H in his crib and to figure out what we need to take with us if we have to evacuate.  Meanwhile, I totally forgot that the girls were playing in their rice-box.  This is what I found a couple minutes later when I came back out:

The photo doesn't even begin to demonstrate it, but rice was EVERYWHERE!  And I don't mean just around the rice-box... I mean all across the entire living room and kitchen, end to end.  Rice was under the furniture, rice was in the heating vents (welcome to our house, mice!), and rice was literally in every corner you can imagine!  Apparently one of the girls thought it would be fun to throw the rice (I have to admit it does make a neat sound as it hits the ground and scatters in EVERY DIRECTION!), and the other girl decided to join in. 

"What a mess!  Mommy is so so angry!" I told them (since I'm really bad at actually acting angry).  Then we spent the next 45 minutes sweeping up the rice from every corner of the room, while my husband repeatedly told me that he "told me so" and the kids should not be playing with things that could potentially turn into a mess. Umm.. thanks!

L and E helped with the cleanup using their kid-sized brooms, turning it into a fantastic Montessori practical-life exercise:

Our floor actually could use a good full-sweep, so it ended up being something we've been procrastinating doing anyway.  And at least cleaning up the Great Rice Incident took my mind off the fire that was raging just miles from our house.  But now I'm sulking because my husband has ammunition for his arguments.  I can just picture that for the next decade when I take out a messy activity for the kids, my husband will say "remember the Great Rice Incident of 2012?". Grrr..

1 comment:

  1. Did he clean it himself? No.....Then, it is up to you I would say ;)


I love getting comments! No spam, please.