Saturday, January 11, 2020

Play: Transporting Oats

It's been a really weird week in the Chicka Chicka household. Jude got food poisoning or a stomach bug for the first time. We tried to ease back into a routine after the holidays begrudgingly. It was a whole mess. I'm also working on how to create a schedule with the blog now that I don't blog every single day.  So, while I did this play activity three days ago, this is my first opportunity to sit down and write. I promise blogs will be more frequent than once a week in the future.
The activity today is an easy but fun one. It spawned from my desperate need to amuse a very grumpy Jude in the hour before nap time. All the materials came from my kitchen, and he could have easily played it for hours. The whole idea was allowing him to transport oats from one container to the other. He is most definitely deep in the transporting play schema, so this was perfect for him.

Transporting Oats Activity


  • Trucks
  • ABC letters


  1. Pour oats into a large flat container 
    • This is where I stuck the letters. I try to incorporate a couple letters as often as possible in play just to give us a chance to talk about the letters. I buried these some so Jude could dig them out.
  2. Model scooping the oats and putting them into the container 
  3. Let your little move them between containers. 
  • Introduce trucks or another small toy when playing begins to lull. This will spark a new excitement in play and drive it forward. We used a little dump truck (like the one from this set)

Talking Points

  • Even/uneven (in the muffin tin)
  • Describe the sound of the oats dropping
  • Texture of the oats
  • Tracks the truck makes
  • ABCs
  • Scooping
  • Holding the scoop flat
  • Dropping at different distances
  • Cleaning up after activities 


  • * We always use the same oats for these types of activities. I bought one big container of rolled oats to use just for sensory bins. I scoop as much of the oats as I can back into the container at the end of the play session. This is why we were doing it at the table as opposed to the floor. 
  • You may notice in the photos that Jude was on the table at one point. Do not leave your child unattended on the table. I was right there with him to keep him from getting exciting and toppling over. 
  • You could do a variation of this for older children where they transfer oats to different containers with the goal of making the containers even. 
  • If at all possible, use a metal muffin tin. It provides an added sensory component. Both you and your little's auditory sense will appreciate it. The oats give off a very satisfying sound when dropped in. 
We ended our play by cleaning up. I scooped the oats back into the container from the table, and then Jude and I both swept. I noticed recently that he has been very interested in sweeping, so I have been trying to bring out his broom too so he can help. It's great because he's not in my way when I'm sweeping (he used to try to grab the broom), and he's learning responsibility and practical life skills by sweeping himself! 

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