Colored rice is an excellent medium to add some excitement to learning. You can use it to make sensory bins, rice tables, or even just as a fun teaching tool. The best part is that it’s easy to do!
Continue to read through this post for step-by-step instructions on how to make colorful rice for hours of use.
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Ways to Use Colored Rice with Toddlers
Sensory Play: One of the most obvious ways to use colored rice with children is using the rice as a tool for sensory play. Place colored rice in a sensory bin (any large bin or container you have), sensory table, bottle, or tray, and allow children to explore the rice.
Art Projects: Colored rice is a beautiful medium for kids to add texture and dimension to their artwork. Use it the same way you would use glitter. Just remember to use a sturdy cardstock paper.
Use Colored Rice as a Math Manipulative: My six-year-old recently asked why the letters “lb” are on so many labels. We then used our colored rice for a fun lesson about volume measurements. Use colored rice, measuring spoons, measuring cups, and a scale to introduce children to measuring volume and mass.
Practical Life Skills Exercise and Pretend Play: Have children pour colored rice through funnels, use scoops to transfer rice between containers, or pour rice from one cup to another. My boys enjoy using their dump trucks to engage in pretend play with rainbow rice.
What You Will Need to Dye Rice
To make colored rice you only need a few ingredients and supplies. You will need white rice, rubbing alcohol (which aids in the drying process), and liquid food color in the colors of your choice. You also need either an airtight container with a lid or a Ziploc bag to make the rice.
Making Colorful Rice in Just 3 Simple Steps
Step 1: Place 2 cups of rice into a container or Ziploc bag.
Step 2: Add 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and several drops of food coloring. The more food coloring you add, the more intense the color will be. I use about 4 drops of food coloring.
Step 3: Seal the container with the lid. If using a Ziploc bag, seal the bag completely. Shake the rice around in the container or bag until the color is even coated.
Allow the rice to dry completely before using.
*Continue to the end of this post for printable step-by-step instructions.
How to Properly Store Colored Rice
First, make sure the rice is dry before you store it. Any moisture can cause the rice to mildew and the colors to run. Second, store the rice in an airtight container. A Mason jar or plastic bag will work perfectly. And finally, keep the rice out of direct sunlight. Sunshine will cause the colors to fade over time.
How Long Will Colored Rice Last
With proper storage, your dyed rice will keep its color for months.
If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to add color and sensory stimulation to your toddler or preschooler’s day, why not try making colorful rice? It’s simple to do and can provide hours of entertainment.
- Airtight container with lid or Ziploc bag
- Food coloring
- 2 tablespoons rubbing alchohol
- 2 cups white rice
- Place 2 cups of rice into a container or Ziploc bag.
- Add 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and several drops of food coloring. The more food coloring you add, the more intense the color will be. I use about 4 drops of food coloring.
- Seal the container with the lid. If using a Ziploc bag, seal the bag completely. Shake the the rice around in the container or bag until the color is even coated.
- Allow to completely dry. Enjoy
Scale recipe to create more rice if you need to.