Fun with Rainbow Rice

Today we played with rainbow rice.

For a while I have been wondering how you colour pasta and rice for play/craft and finally got round to looking on Google yesterday. It is so easy!

You can find great tutorials here and here, but basically you place your rice or pasta in a container or resealable bag with some food colouring and white vinegar (approx 1tbsp vinegar for every cup of rice/pasta) and shake, shake, shake!

I was undecided whether to do rice or pasta for today’s play, however after realising I didn’t have any resealable bags and therefore would need to use jam jars, I went with rice. I didn’t think big pasta tubes would survive being shaken around a glass jam jar!

I was really pleased with the results and when the kids saw the rice this morning they couldn’t wait to start playing with it! I set it up in the Tuff Spot with a selection of plastic containers, spoons, funnels and diggers around the outside. Jasmine had also spoken about making shakers with the rice, so I made sure I gave them some lidded jars as well.

The kids were so excited to play with the rice. They loved the colours and from the minute they saw it this morning had picked out the colour they wanted to play with first! Jasmine wanted red and purple, Thomas wanted green and Ben wanted all of them!

The first thing they all did was pick a lidded jar and fill it to make a shaker. They all did different coloured layers and enjoyed shaking it up to mix the colours together. Thomas and Jasmine used spoons and funnels to fill their jars, while Ben used his hands or other plastic pots.

Ben then started emptying out the bowls of rice and mixing them all together. This would have been fine, except Jasmine wasn’t ready to mix yet. She still wanted separate colours. I very quickly got her one of our gravel trays and placed piles of each colour rice in it for her to play with so the boys could mix to their hearts content.

This is what I find the hardest about this sort of play. Jasmine’s play is very different to the boys and I find myself caught off guard quite frequently. I really need to think more about what she might want to do and plan for it because really I should have known she’d need to keep the colours separate and the boys would mix them together.

But it all worked out fine in the end and everyone was happy!

Jasmine made several shakers and spent a lot of time pouring and spooning rice from one container to another. She was also very particular about making sure her piles were tidy and the colours didn’t touch each other. She then made a road around her piles and drove a car from one to another. She had a shop pile, a house pile and a pond pile.

After a while she asked to make a rainbow picture with the rice. I had mentioned that we might be able to do this so I got some card and glue out and we made a rice rainbow.

And, do you know what? The minute she had finished this she went back to her tray of seperate colours and did this:

She was then quite happy to play with it all mixed up!

The boys spent most of their time using the funnels to pour rice into pots and trucks. Thomas did ask for his own tray like Jasmine had, but he just filled it with multicoloured rice and didn’t do much with it. I think he just wanted a tray because Jasmine had one!

I actually had to ask the kids to stop playing for a while so we could have lunch! They were enjoying it so much I think they would have just carried on!

However, lunch gave me time to do a quick change and I put our ELC Big City Quarry in the middle of the Tuff Spot for a different kind of play. When they had eaten all 3 kids took no time at all to get stuck in.

Finally, there was one last thing I wanted to do before we put the rice away for the day. I got a couple of stencils out and the kids all picked one to make their own rice picture. I placed the stencil on a piece of card, dabbed glue inside and they poured the rice over.

Rice picturesWe spent almost all day today playing with the rainbow rice, and we did so much with it.

The kids loved it and all 3 of them were quite happy to get in the tray and play. Rice is great, clean, messy play and we’ll definitely be doing lots more with it!

I am linking this post up to Edspire’s Messy Play for Matilda Mae

Edspire  Messy Play

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6 thoughts on “Fun with Rainbow Rice

  1. Natasha says:

    Ooh I love this!! Will be putting it on our tuff spot ideas list. Great post x

  2. Fantastic ideas – definately going to have a go at this – I wonder if you can do it with sand too? Will have to have a google.

    • I’m not sure about colouriing sand this way, however you can make coloured sand by mixing it (or moon sand) with powder paint – still in powder form 😉 I haven’t done it yet but was given the tip after I did Moon Sand recently.

  3. Looks like they all had great fun, the last photo looks like lots of hundreds and thousands cake sprinkles with the feet!

  4. This post reminds me that its been ages since we played with our rainbow rice! yours came out really well!

    • Yes, I was really pleased with how it turned out! I used gel colouring rather than liquid so I think this made the colours brighter. I have plans for more rainbow rice fun over the next few days!

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