Sunday, October 28, 2007

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds make a great ingredient for sensory tables. You can get free grounds at many coffee shops, which give it away as compost. We have a Starbucks on the other side of our parking lot and they are very generous. This time we got espresso grounds, which are very fine and make great pretend dirt without having to dig up the school's garden. It often comes in little round disks which are fun to smash and squeeze. Do a quick sift through the grounds just in case someone's thrown a wrapper or two in the bag.

With coarser grounds you can make coffee ground mud. To the grounds add oatmeal or corn meal and some salt. Add some water, and you have mud. If you use the oatmeal the leftovers can be used to give your fellow teachers facials. If you decide to add things to the grounds, consider letting the children do it by providing small containers of the ingredients and letting them dump or scoop and then mix however they like.

If the grounds come wet they'll be quite fragrant, so you might want to let them sit in your table overnight with the table lid off so they dry out a little. This will also cut down on the strength of the smell, which can put some children and adults off.

Allergy Note: If you do decide to add oats and your classroom is gluten free, be sure to buy gluten free oats or oatmeal. While oats themselves do not have gluten they are usually processed in a plant that also processes wheat. Gluten free oats are available, sometimes even in the regular grocery store. It will say on the box.

No comments:

Post a Comment