2 1/2 years old

Rainbow Rice Play


Time for more messy sensory play!  I was very excited to properly be able to make some coloured rice for Ethan and Ivy to play with.  I had tried it before, making the rice with kool aid and playing with it in a small sensory box.  The Kool Aid did make it a vibrant colour, but it always remained a bit sticky, so I had to spend time getting all of the clumps out before playing with it.  This time I looked around at many different blog posts, consulted the experts (on Twitter) with many suggestions of adding vinegar or alcohol or even baking it in the oven to make the colour stick.  But in the end, I decided to just go for the simple option, and just use food colouring!  I made six different colours of rice (so not technically a rainbow, sorry indigo) so I bought 2 large bags of rice and split them into equal portions in smaller sandwich bags.  Then I added a few drops of food colouring, shook it all around and spread each colour out on some greaseproof paper to dry overnight.

By the next day the rice was dry, no colour was coming off on my hands, and while the colour wasn't as vibrant as with the kool aid, it was still nice and bright.  The difficult part was keeping Ethan away from it when he woke up in the morning!  He spotted it on the counter and wanted to play straight away, but I really wanted to pour it out carefully to make a rainbow on our tuff spot (builders tray) outside.  So, truth be told, I may have locked Ethan inside with Daddy so I could set it all up for them, just so that I could have a pretty rainbow for one second before they started to play and mix it all up.

Ethan was so excited to get his hands on that rice, and I was excited that it was something that Ivy could experience as well.  I decided just to put her feet in, as she puts her hands in her mouth a lot, and I wouldn't want her swallowing any of that rice.  So I opened up the door to let Ethan and Ivy outside, but I still made Ethan wait.  We counted to 3 and then they could touch the rice.

First Ethan just moved it around on the tray, mixing it up and running the grains of rice through his fingers.  Ivy swished her feet around and bounced them up and down in the rice.  I think that it will be easier to do activities like this once she's sitting up on her own, then she'll be able to control her play a bit better, not having to be held by someone.  

After we took Ivy out, of course Ethan decided that he wanted to put his feet in as well!  So then he just sat right in the tray, surrounded by colourful rice and swirled it around himself.  I then got some scoops, cups, bowls, a sieve and some other toys that he could use to play with the rice in different ways.  He loved it, and was happy playing with it for ages.  At the end we scooped all the mixed up colourful rice into an airtight container, ready to play with again another day.

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  1. What a lovely activity - the rainbow effect looks great and very tempting for little hands to mix up! #willynilly

    1. Thanks, it was such a fun activity! And although I tried to keep the lovely rainbow as long as possible, it was quickly mixed together by those little hands :)

  2. There must be something with rice and feet - my son did exactly the same! The hardest part of the activity is always trying to keep the children away until it is all set up :) Thanks for sharing with #TuffSpotTuesday

    1. Yes! Usually I'm not that bothered, but there was something about having that perfect rainbow of rice that I just had to do!


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