I wanted some colored rice to put in a sensory bin for J so we colored it ourselves. It was a quick and easy project that the big sisters had fun helping with. Who doesn’t like playing with liquid color and something that can be dyed? I highly recommend it if you do any kind of sensory play (or maybe even just play) with your younger ones. (Truly, this is going to be for the bigger ones too. The 9 year old was talking about playing with it! Of course, she’ll let her little sister be the first but then it may be a free-for-all.)
After combing the internet and Pinterest for all of about, oh, 5 minutes, I found that most folks used rubbing alcohol and food coloring. There were, however, as many different measurements for these things as blogs you could find doing it. (So we’ll just add one more to the mix…) Here is what we ended up doing.
liquid food coloring in dropper bottles
uncooked long grain white rice
glass bowls – one small and one large for each color of rice you are making
1 tablespoon measuring spoon
4 spoons to stir
Decide how much rice you are going to make of each color. I did 3/4 cup of rice for each of 4 colors. I decided on this amount based on the container it will be going into after it is dry. Place the rice in the larger bowl. In the smaller bowl for each color, place 2 T of the rubbing alcohol and about 8 drops of food coloring. Stir this up. Add the liquid to the rice in the larger bowl and stir it well. After it is stirred up, evaluate your color. If it is not dark enough, add some more of the food coloring directly to the rice in the bowl and stir again. Do this until you are happy. My oldest decided, after we were into the process, that she didn’t want to make yellow rice after all. (“Mom, the colors go green and then blue, so we should do red and then orange, not yellow.”) So, she added red to the yellow to make it orange. If doing that, make sure you go one drop at a time and stir well in between so you don’t overdo it and end up with another batch of red.
Then, we spread it out in a pan and set it in the sun to dry. Once dry, place it in the contain you are going to store it in or use it in. Watch and enjoy as your little ones (and not-so-little ones) have fun playing with the colored rice. At Home.