Playing with cooked grains is a lot like playing with wet sand. You can mold them, build with them, pile them, scoop them, dump them–they’re pretty fun! And whole grains like quinoa are packed with nutrition, so even if your child just nibbles a taste from their fingers, they’re getting something their bodies need as well as positive experiences learning about a new grain.
You can have fun playing with any cooked grain, really. You could pretend and play something like dump truck construction site, build a garden, make rows and pretend to plant seeds or make a picture like the quail above or a snail, or a beach.
You could do a deconstruct activity, take off the little spirally parts of the quinoa and separate the different parts of the grain into piles.
You could get silly, use funny language and/or funny voices and show your child how you take tiny, tiny tastes of the tiny, tiny grains.
If you want to build something 3D, you could mix in some cream cheese and make 3D animals and monsters. I did a rice men activity like this on the blog this winter and have also had fun making mice out of rice, but really, you could make anything.
However you decide to play with grains, enjoy and happy food play!