Saturday, September 14, 2013

DIY Colored Rice

We just made this the other day. Squirrel had so much fun making it and then playing with it!

Very easy recipe! 

This is what you'll need to make a small batch of colored rice:
1 - 2lb bag of white rice
4 - disposable zipper bags
Hand Sanitizer
Gel Food Coloring

Step 1:
Add four pumps of hand sanitizer to each of you disposable zipper bags.

Step 2:
Add about four 'drops' of gel food coloring to each bag in the desired color.

Step 3:
Divide rice into four equal parts (I used a kitchen scale to weigh half pound portions). Then toss measured rice into bag.

Step 4:
Squish the gel around with all the rice until even coated.

When Bug saw that his big brother was shaking/mixing a bag of rice he wanted to help too! But it wasn't long before he tried opening the zipper of the bag, followed by him trying to eat the bag. So he didn't get to help for too long.

Step 5:
Spread the rice out on wax paper to let dry. Allow at least a few hours to dry or leave it over night.

Now you're ready to play!

Squirrel played in the rice with measuring spoons, measuring cups, and we also hid a few small toys in the bowl of rice. He played with the rice for a couple hours. It makes for great sensory play! You could use sifters, funnels, jars/cups and other sand box toys.

It was very soon after placing the bowl of rice on the dining room floor that I realized Bug was not quite ready for this type of rice play. So I made him a Look and Find jar.

I filled the jar about 3/4 of the way with the colored rice. I then added some colored poms, tri color rotini, and some miniature farm animals and put the lid on really tight. I shook up the jar a bit to get the objects hidden around in the bottle. 

He then explored the bottle a little. Every time he got a glimps of the cow he said "Mooooo!". It was pretty cute.

Unfortunately, this didn't occupy him for that long. He really wanted to play in the bowl of rice with his brother. So I adapted the original rice play plan to suit Bug's personality and abilities. 

I gave him poms, a couple containers, measuring cups and a bottle.

This was definitely more his style! 

Bug loved playing with the poms and working on motor skills. He dumped the poms from one container to the other, he put them into the bottle, then of course, he threw them all on the floor! Which is where everything ends up with Bug is finished with it! 

Keep in mind that with all activities... each child is different! There will be times you'll have to adapt an activity for your child or their siblings.  

These types of activities are all about learning and exploration as well as cause and affect. If your child isn't enjoying it, adapt or do something different.

Have you ever made a sensory bin with rice, beans, beads or some other medium for your child? What did you use? What did you hide? Have you had to adapt a project for a sibling?


  1. I'll have to pick up some gel food coloring to try this with my son!

  2. My 15 month old just started putting objects into containers and he's working on learning how to dump them back out again. I'm pretty sure he'd love to play with poms and containers! I was looking for activities to do with him today and this is just perfect!

  3. OHHH! I love this idea. How smart are you with the ziplock dying trick!? I love the jar game. I think my 4 yo LO would love it.

  4. We gave some flour to our 3yo to play with recently, before we knew it she had poured water in the bowl and was adding globs of butter - fail!