Colored Rice

colored rice

The rice that I used for the project was originally intended for I Spy jars for my kids. I made the jars, but they were not happy (to put it lightly) to discover that I intended to keep the small animals I had put in the jars in there permanently. So we removed the small plastic animals, built a habitat for them instead, and decided to create a different use for the rice:

We divided the rice into four plastic jars:

filling jars with rice

Added a few drops of food coloring and a little Purell to each jar, and then shook it up:

adding food coloring to the rice

And admired the resulting colors:

 admiring the colored rice

Then we left them to dry overnight:

dyed rice

And used them for an “art project” the next day – which consisted of Johnny making a Big Mess while Emma carefully glued one grain of rice at a time onto her piece of paper. If I were to do this particular project again, I would have the kids use glue bottles instead of glue sticks – the grains of rice stuck to the glue sticks too easily.

rice collage

We have a LOT of rice left, so if you have other activities we can use this for, I’d love to hear! I plan to let Emma make a colored rice layer jar, and then to do something with the rice in that once it (inevitably) has been shaken together.

Comments

  1. says

    I keep meaning to make coloured rice for C to play with. I’d like to make a sensory box – I think she’d have lots of fun with it, even if I have to sweep up rice 5 times a day! lol

  2. says

    Too funny how Johnny and Emma took the rice project. I have no suggestions on using rice – we don’t play with food on principle. I am planning to write a post explaining why.

  3. says

    Silly question and maybe I’m just really bad at reading today, but did you put water in with the food coloring? Or was it just food coloring and purell? Thanks for the great idea!

  4. maryanne says

    @Chandra – just food coloring and purell, no water. I was actually surprised at how little food coloring was needed too – that stuff goes a long way!

  5. maryanne says

    @Lindsey – This rice is not for eating since it is uncooked and has had purell added. You could, however make colored rice for eating by adding a little food coloring to the water before cooking =)

  6. says

    Oh my goodness, you were not kidding about the Big Mess! Too cute. Have you tried a rice tray to draw letters in? This rice is so pretty, and looks like so much fun! M likes to use glue in a bottle and make a design then shake sand on it. I’m sure the rice would work the same way… you’re right that it might be easier than using glue sticks. Also, they could stand things up in the rice jars – feathers, pipecleaners to put beads on… that’s all I’m coming up with. :) Great post!

  7. Maile says

    Wow, I am amazed by Emma’s attention to detail. I did something similar to this a while back using tiny alphabet pasta instead of the rice. We also had a Big Mess every time we pulled them out (Kaia used glue as well to make designs, but she always used the pasta in much larger portions than Emma, and always made a much bigger mess). I finally got so sick of the messes that I threw them out when the kids weren’t watching. :)

  8. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    Your colored rice turned out great! We’ll be trying this today for a play date we’re hosting… how fun!

  9. g chris says

    help them to draw a nature scene such as mountains,river,trees etc. and use the colors of rice to paste on each scene. A little water and a little flour makes a great cheap paste. Then let g and g chris see the art work when it is complete. love ya- g and g chris.

  10. g chris says

    help them to draw a nature scene such as mountains,river,trees etc. and use the colors of rice to paste on each scene. A little water and a little flour makes a great cheap paste. Then let g and g chris see the art work when it is complete. love ya- g and g chris.now if I can get this box to send the message.

  11. Linda says

    I don’t have any ideas for the rice, but when I was a little girl, a lonnnnnng time ago, in the ’50s (1950s, not 1850s 8-), my mom and a neighbor used to color salad macaroni and then we would string them together to make necklaces and bracelets. We didn’t have Purell back then, but I think they used a mix of food coloring, vinegar and water, like we did for colored eggs before the “invention” of egg dye kits. I’m 63 now, and I still remember those sessions fondly!

    Linda

    • maryanne says

      Alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Regular rubbing alcohol works as well, as does white vinegar (although, white vinegar takes a bit longer to dry).

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