Toddler Fun: Rainbow Rice

Rainbow Rice

Ava and I are in Florida visiting my family. My sister is out-of-town this week and my mom went to prom this weekend (as a chaperone, not a date) and Ava and I needed to find something to entertain ourselves for a few hours.  I’ve wanted to experiment with some sort of rice sensory activity, so we got to work. (Please excuse the horrible pictures.  My mother’s kitchen has NO natural light.)

I decided on making some rainbow rice. It couldn’t be too different from dying Easter eggs, right? Before we left for Alaska, I gave my mom a half-full 50 pound bag of rice that I had. I knew there was no way that they had eaten 25 pounds of rice in 7 months. Sure enough, I found a giant container of rice. You will also need white vinegar and food coloring. I used gel food coloring since that’s what mom uses when she makes cakes. You could definitely use the liquid kind too. So here’s what you need for each color.

  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • food coloring (to your desired shade)

Sensory Rice

I decided on 5 colors to get us started.  First, pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees.  In 5 small bowls, I poured in the 1/2 cup of rice and 1 tablespoon of vinegar.  I then picked my 5 colors and added a bit of food coloring into each bowl.  Stir with a spoon until all of the food coloring is incorporated.  You can add more food coloring if the color is not dark enough for your taste.

Carefully spoon each color into a thin layer on a cookie sheet and smash into a flat layer.  Repeat with each color.  You will end up with a pan that looks like this.

Rainbow Rice

Bake the rice at 175 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and gently stir each color with a fork.  You will see that there may still be some moisture on the bottom of the pan.  Return the pan to the oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until all of the rice is dry.

Remove your rainbow rice from the oven and you’re ready to play!  I poured each color (as best I could) into different size measuring cups and bowls.

Toddler Rice Play

I also set her up with a few different scoops, spoons, and even a small funnel.  She had a blast!

Sensory Rice Play

I definitely plan on doing this on a larger scale once we get back to Texas.  Think: rainbow rice sandbox (ricebox?), but something with a lid.  Oh, and be prepared for a mess.  I think we will keep this as an outdoor activity.

Toddler Sensory Play

Even I had fun playing with the rainbow rice.  Do you think you will make some?

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