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How do you feel about children playing with uncooked food such as rice and pasta?

by Vee (follow)
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Image by Takeaway via Wikimedia Commons.

How do you feel about children playing with uncooked food such as rice and pasta?

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I am not a fan of it. Just seems like a waste of food to me. Having said that. I have seen kids spilling boxes of food and spice containers etc. But that can happen by accident because they are just kids. But I don't like the idea of those games which involve wastage of food.
by BK
I don't know. I hate the idea of kids playing with food while children in other parts of the world starve...but my son loves to play with uncooked rice. It's like giving a kid a box. I first saw him playing with rice at daycare and gave him a cup when I was desperate to distract him. I collected it afterwards and kept it for future (distraction) use. :-|
by Vee
Desperate times I guess :)
by BK
Fine. All toys are a luxury, always costing money that could have been spent on essentials. Using food as a toy isn't really any different from other consumable play things like, say, bubble mix or paper aeroplanes. Rice is good for sensory play, can help develop hand eye coordination (scooping and picking it up with hands and tools etc) and can be used for imaginary play like to create play bins, with, for example green rice as grass and farm animal toys. I made my daughter "fairy rice" (purple, and pink, fairy floss scented) and hid little fairy toys and shiny buttons in it for her to find. She played with it quite a few times. You can also use it to create musical instruments like rattles with empty plastic bottles. Penne pasta is good for making necklaces, which fosters creativity and is also good for hand eye coordination and fine motor skills that will be needed for tasks like writing.

I'm willing to bed using food like this is a very, very old idea, and has cropped up just about any time people had the food to spare.
"bet", not "bed"
Some cool ideas for using rice in the My Kid Craft hub:


And a pasta one. I'm a big fan of simple things that keep kids busy and are educational and cheap (it's a lot cheaper for me to use some pasta I buy in bulk than buy toys)
you have made a great point and i think i agree with you except I think it is a negative lesson to a child about food I still see it as being apart form other things
by filli
I don't see any danger really but I think it depends on how old the child is. Obviously you don't want a small child playing with small items that may cause choking.
We never did it as children and my daughter never did either. It was only after she got older that I saw children using macaroni to make necklaces etc. My first reaction on seeing the question was that they could choke or put it up their noses. I think I was very lucky - my little Virgo never liked making a mess. As for the waste, well, that goes without saying. We were taught never to waste food and never to play with our food at the table so I suppose we just thought that "don't play with your food" meant just that. It would never have occurred to me to play with rice or pasta as we never had it in the house. It was all "meat and three veg" back then.
by Rice
I'm totally with Jennifer on this one.

It is a cheaper toy, and let's face it toys are way too expensive, and Pasta and Rice are just perfect for good for making necklaces, a also good for hand eye coordination and motor skills that will be needed for tasks like writing.

What a delightful photo - so clever!
by Rice
by jonaja
I don't believe anything is wrong with playing with rice within a certain context. It can actually be a cheap substitute for toys or art and craft materials. Many simple items can be used to teach kids many little important lessons.
I don't see anything wrong with it, so long as there is appropriate supervision, in case of choking. I am sure that my children played with it at kindergarten with no ill effects. My daughter made some jewellery out of penne pasta and then painted it. I remember my kids made all sorts of things with rice. They made stress balls and cards at Christmas. The rice made lovely snow flakes. The possibilities are endless, bound only by your imagination. Some child care centres use rice n sensory tubs and the texture feels nice. Myself and my kids used rice in musical instruments that we made. I can't see any problem with using it.
I think it's a great inexpensive way of developing a child's imagination. We used to play for hours with macaroni when I was a child and a ball of string, paste and cardboard kept us busy for hours. Another thing I have kept for over 55 years is a piece of jewellery mum and I made with her cub group. Its a long necklace made from paper clips covered with gold and brown tone contact paper. Whenever I wear it I geat great comments on it and chuckle to myself....if only they knew!
Wow, I would love to see the necklace!
by Vee
Hi Vee. I not promising because I've never done this before but I will try to take a pic of it.
by helga
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