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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rainbow Rice

You know how you pin things on Pinterest and you're all, "Oh man, I'm totally going to do that!" but you don't? Yeah, that's me too most of the time. There are so many amazing ideas for toddler activities, however, that I really wanted to start doing some of them.

Lately, C has taken a bigger interest in carrying, dumping, and filling things. Coupled with his sloooowly expanding attention span, I set out to find new activities for him. I had seen the rainbow rice sensory box on Pinterest several times, but it was one of those "Ooh, I'll do day" projects. A friend of mine posted pictures of her son playing in his new rice box and he looked so happy and content playing, it gave me the motivation to finally put one together.

To make the rice box, I bought...

2' x 1' flat storage box with a snap on lid (the kind that the handles flip up to lock the lid)
20 lb. bag of white rice
Bottle of rubbing alcohol
Neon gel food coloring

Yay mixing!
I followed a combination of tutorials from various websites, but the main idea on what to do and how to make it look came from my friend's pictures and from Play at Home Mom LLC. Got to give credit where credit is due! :-)

For each color, I put 4-5 cups of rice in a big bowl, 2 tbs. of rubbing alcohol, and eye balled the food coloring until I liked the color. I used a rubber spatula to fold the rice over and over until it was thoroughly coated and I didn't see anymore gobs of color gel.

The drying operation
Then, I dumped the bowl onto three paper towels and flatted it out so it dried faster. And no worries, the alcohol dries super fast and the smell dissipates completely. I even tasted the rice after it dried because, well lets be honest, C will be eating some of it, and it didn't taste like anything but dry rice.

I ended up with six colors in pretty rows (which will last about 10 seconds once C gets to it. Add a few scoops, cups, and toys and its set! From what I've read about sensory play, the important part is to let the child explore the set up themselves without a parent showing them the "correct" way to play. If they just want to run their hands through the rice instead of using the scoops - that's okay!

Unfortunately, C went to bed before all the rice dried and he could play with it. I'm sure he'll get into it tomorrow.

If you're interested in fun projects and sensory play ideas like this, I highly recommend Play at Home Mom LLC. I spent at least an hour and a half going through her site yesterday and for once, actually felt like I could do fun and different activities with C despite being a working Mom. You know what I'm talking about - I doubt I'm the only one with stay at home Mom blog envy. I only get a few hours a day with him and its easy to feel like those hours are wasted with the same rushing around. The more activities we can do together, the better!


  1. Great! I was going to pin this but it said it was not allowed.

    1. I know, I know. :-/ I found out that someone was pinning pictures of Charlie and it kind of creeped me out. I know I put them out there, but things that get pinned turn into Pinterest's property and while I don't care about tutorials, I care about pictures of my kid. I wish I could separate them out, but unfortunately its all or nothing. Sorry! :(