• Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam

Sugar and Milk Sensory Play

The book Sugar and Milk written by Thrity Umrigary and illustrated by Khoa Le is a timeless story about a young immigrant girl who joins her aunt and uncle in a new country. As she struggles with her transition into a new culture her aunt tells her story about Persian refugees seeking to be embraced by a kin in India. The Persian refugee leader shows the king how both groups can live alongside one another in harmony and their presence will sweeten lives, like sugar in milk. The king embraced the refugee, welcoming him and his people. The young girl now sees her new home as a journey with a sweet future after hearing the story.


With everything that is going on in our world this timely book about immigration and refugees demonstrates the power of diversity, acceptance, and tolerance.



To extend the literacy experience you can set up an invitation to explore tea, sugar, and milk through sensory play. You will need two tea bags, lukewarm water, kettle, cups, sugar, “milk” (white liquid water colors or tempera paint mixed with water), and a sensory bin. Simply invite the child to create their own sugar and milk tea through sensory play.


Invitations such as these provide "life skills" that they will carry on the rest of their life. Pouring through water play aides children to understand capacity & investigate with ideas such as more/less, same/different, many/few, empty/full, before/after, greater than/less than. Not to mention cognitive skills through cause and effect as well has hand eye coordination when pouring the water. This type of learning through play by doing the work, helps their brain engage and create and expand their neural pathways since so many of their skill sets are being used and further developed. Hence why play builds brains. The more children are given opportunities of opened ended play such as this the higher their level of thinking will grow and develop along with continuing to build life skills.




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