Rainbow Rice

Jan 26, 2013

For this activity, I collected some rice, food coloring, vinegar and resealable plastic bags. 

 

I placed one cup of rice in a ziplock bag.  I used a mixture of brown basmati, Japanese sticky rice and long grain since I didn't have enough of one type of rice to equal six cups of rice.


I placed food coloring along with one tablespoon of vinegar in each bag.  The amount of food coloring you use depends on how vibrant you want the colors to be.  I used almost 1/3 of the container of food coloring since I wanted super bright colors.  Adding the vinegar is not necessary, but it will help to adhere the color to the rice as well as help it to dry more quickly.

 

Roll the air out of the bag and seal it.  My daughter loved shaking, squishing and rolling the bag to spread the color evenly.


We repeated the process to make six colors.  We added red and yellow food coloring together to make orange. We added blue and red food coloring together to make purple.

 

On a cooking tray, I poured the rice onto separate sheets of wax paper to dry.  You can let the rice air dry over night, but Sophia was excited to play with it right away so I baked the rice for ten minutes at 200 degrees.

 

Once the rice had cooled, I poured it into a plastic storage tub and placed the tub on my daughter's play table. We did this project inside so I also placed a drop cloth underneath the table to catch the rice.  

 

Sophia was fascinated with the rice exhibit at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ, so I knew that she would really enjoy having this sensory bin at home.  Through pouring, scooping and filling rice into different sized containers, Sophia was able to explore cause and effect as well as develop her problem solving skills.  Hands-on sensory play gives her the opportunity to create contextual meaning out of conceptual information in a fun and meaningful way.  

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