Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts — Digging for Treasure Sensory Activity

Digging for Treasure Sensory ActivityPlay-Grow-Read

Young children learn by seeing, hearing, touching and talking. Stimulate a child’s senses and help develop fine motor skills at the same time with this simple and fun activity.


  • An empty wash basin or plastic bowl
  • Uncooked oatmeal or uncooked rice
  • Toddler toys, plastic letters, or natural objects such as pine cones
  • A plastic shovel, spoons or old paintbrushes


Scatter the toys into the basin or bowl and add enough oatmeal  or rice to cover the toys. Have children dig in the rice with their hands, or a small shovel and try to find all of the toys in the basin.

Other Ideas:

Bury small toys in an outdoor sandbox and have children dig for the treasures. Have children count how many items they have found and name each item. Try using various materials with different textures in which to hide animal toys, letters, or shapes. You can try birdseed, dried lentils or beans.



This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.


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Written by Ali


Ali is a Collection Development Paraprofessional at KDL. She loves cookbooks and memoirs.

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