Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rainbow Rice

Sensory play is one of the things that L likes to do best, so I'm constantly bringing out new stuff for her to dig her little hands into. Thanks to all my years in the early childhood field, I have a few tricks up my sleeve for making sensory play interesting and varied. We recently had a blast with brightly colored rainbow rice, which is a joy to play with and a breeze to make.

These beautiful colors are the result of some plain old white rice, a bit of rubbing alcohol and a few generous drops of food coloring. Voila! Instant rainbow rice, easy as 1-2-3!

1. Add a good amount of uncooked white rice to a ziploc bag (I used a sandwich size bag filled up about halfway).

2. Pour in a glug or two of rubbing alcohol (about 1-2 teaspoons, but it doesn't have to be exact).

3. Add in your desired food color.  Give the bag a few good shakes until the rice is coated, lay on a baking sheet lined with newspaper or wax paper to dry.  The longer you leave the rice in the bag, the bolder your colors will be.

I created this brilliant orange rice by mixing yellow and red food coloring.

Once the rice is dry, stick it in any old air tight container until you're ready to play.  It even looks gorgeous just sitting on a shelf!

A few measuring cups and colorful bowls added to the appeal of our rice.
L adores a good scooping and pouring activity!
The rice made an excellent plinking sound in the bowls!


  1. Love this idea...thank you...can't wait to try it with my preschoolers.

  2. Excited to try this. I think all of my people will like this one. bonus now that cale is getting older...she can read the directions and actually help make it!

  3. you managed to get some great colours. I need to refresh mine now that i have invested in some decent food colouring, the colours were really dull before