The Rice Box Activity: How A Box of Rice Turned This Mom Into a Rockstar

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Tot Tuesday is a (mostly) weekly feature where I highlight a special kids activity, frugal recipe for kids, kids tutorial, etc. Want to contribute? Email me heather @

Have you ever noticed that the simplest activities tend to be the most thrilling for children? 

Today I went to pick up my daughter from school. Full of anticipation for my “Rockstar Mommy” moment of the day (those of you with kids totally know what I’m talking about), I walked into her class expecting a beaming smile and a big comfy hug.

Look at that sweet face!


My daughter looked at me, smiled and then quickly turned around to continue playing with her friends.

I was crushed! What could possibly be stealing away one of my favorite moments of the day from me?

Did I forget something important in her lunch? Did my 2 year old decide that the outfit I chose for her this morning wasn’t fashionable enough?

What was wrong!?

At this point, I realize her and her friends are gathered around a bin of rice. In that rice, the kids were riding around toy cars, using spoons & funnels to scoop and pour handfuls of rice. They were hiding fun toys for their friends to treasure seek. In short, they were playing in a sandbox filled with rice. 

Now this concept was not new to me. I’ve played the good ol’ rice box game at home with the kids many times. 

However, it had been awhile and my 2 year old has a short memory.

Finally, I coaxed her out of the classroom by telling her that I had a box at home filled with rice and toys with her name on it!

When we got home, I pulled out the box and set it on the table. For the next HOUR, my son (age 4) and my daughter played in this box. Not one argument. Not one bit of fussing.

Sure I had some rice to clean up on the floor when they were done, but it’s a great reminder that the simplest things in life are generally the best. 

Oh I’m sure my son will want to play Skylanders when he wakes up, and my daughter will beg me to play barbies.

For just a moment though, I was Rockstar Mommy simply because of a bucket of rice and a few plastic spoons.

Not bad 😉

The Rice Box

  • Rice (any kind, dry and uncooked of course)
  • Cars, Spoons, Funnels, Cups, Shiny stuff to hide, etc
  • Box of some sort (if you have one with a lid, that’s preferrable)

Combine and let your kids go to town! 

Disclaimer: I hardly thought up the rice box on my own, so credit for this wonderful activity is not mine.  Also, remember that dry rice is a choking hazard. Monitor your children and if you have younger babies that like to put everything in their mouth, this  probably isn’t the activity for them just yet.

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Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google +

3 thoughts on “The Rice Box Activity: How A Box of Rice Turned This Mom Into a Rockstar”

  1. Terrific! My son will love burying his dozens upon dozens of Matchbox cars in it! Thanks for the idea! And I’ll be “pinning” it because a sweet person (ahem, Heather) invited me to join Pinterest!

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