I’ve said it a million times before, and I’ll say it a million times again: thank goodness for Pinterest! It is a treasure trove of great ideas for pretty much everything, including simple and fun activities to do with your kids. Since I’m not creative or crafty, I need all the help I can get to find summer projects for my girls that are fun and educational, and that don’t push me past my creative abilities (my limit in that regard is VERY low, by the way).
About two weeks ago, I embarked on a project to make colored rice, or rainbow rice. I found the rainbow rice project here. Please do go check out this great blog post to see the inspiration behind my work! It certainly looked beautiful and after reading the instructions, I realized that it didn’t sound terribly difficult, especially if I made a few modifications. So off we set!
Here’s what you will need to make rainbow rice (and by the way, I found the rice and the food coloring at The Dollar Tree…cheap thrills! The vinegar was also very cheap at my local grocery store).
In a glass bowl, place one cup of rice, 3 drops of food coloring and 1/2 tsp vinegar. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil (I chose this over the lid that came with my bowl just in case the food coloring caused staining). Shake it up like crazy!
The original instructions recommended letting the rice sit out in the sun for the rest of the day to dry. Darah was ready to play NOW so I needed to speed things up. I got out some parchment paper and placed it on a baking sheet. Then I spread out my newly colored rice and let is dry out in the oven, set to 200 degrees, for 20 minutes. This was the perfect amount of time and the perfect temperature, as it turned out!
I repeated the process for 4 different colors (red, blue, green and yellow), so it did take 1 1/2 hours to get all of the rice made, though the majority of that time was spent waiting for each color of rice to dry out. You could speed up the process by making two colors at once and utilizing both shelves of your oven. Why didn’t I do that? Simple: because I wasn’t wearing my thinking cap that day!
After your rice is all finished, you can make a pretty presentation to your kids. This definitely got some oohs and ahhs from Darah!
Now it was time for the moment we’d all been waiting for: mixing up the colors! I gave Darah a spoon and let her go to work. She was positively giddy!
Here she goes!
Darah played and played and played with her colored rice (probably for 45 minutes…3 eternities for a 3 year old). And we now have it sitting on a shelf in a glass jar for easy access. We get it out every couple of days and she spends a lot of time hiding treasures in the rice and pretending that it is where mermaids live. It is a fantastic sensory activity and promotes imaginative play. All this from a bag of rice, a few drops of food color and some vinegar. This activity totally rocks!
Let me know if you try out the colored rice activity! And if you love the idea, please share it with your friends (buttons over to the left!) via Facebook or Pinterest!