My own boys love playing in colored rice! They’re not the only ones though. I had a tray of colored rice sitting on my counter one day when my friend dropped by to visit. During our conversation she began running her fingers through the grains, scooping and dumping as we talked. After a while she said, “There’s just something soothing about this stuff!” It’s true, the feel of rice sliding through your fingers, the soft rustle of it as it falls into a pile, there’s something that just captivates young and old not so young alike. So here’s how to make your own batch of colorful rice.
Pour a tablespoon or so of rubbing alcohol into a quart size ziplock bag. Add food coloring and mix. Pour in about a cup of dry rice, seal the bag, and gently work the bag until the color has been evenly distributed through the rice. Spread the rice out onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet and allow it to dry completely. (Note: You’ll want to wear gloves and an apron to prevent staining while preparing colorful rice!)
Coloring the rice you use for sensory acitivities helps in setting boundaries for sensory play. You are clarifying for the children the difference between the rice we eat and the rice we play in. Make several batches of different colors and then mix them together for an enticing presentation in your sensory table! Whether you use scoops, animals, funnels, or just fingers, your children will love this medium!