Rainbow Rice

The latest fun project we did around here was dyeing a big batch of rice in every color of the rainbow.

I mixed up 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Discount School Supply Liquid Watercolors with a splash of rubbing alcohol first and then poured the mixture into 6-8 cups of white rice. I mixed it up with a spoon until the color was absorbed consistently.  I then spread out the rice on various baking pans (a cookie sheet, a casserole dish, etc.). I ended up with 7 batches of different colored rice so I had a lot to spread out! I fit the rice best I could in a preheated oven (170 degrees). Once in awhile I stirred it. After about 20 minutes I turned the oven off, and just let the rice sit continuing to dry. Once the rice was completely dry, I put it all in a Sterilite plastic bin and then let my patients have at it! The bin proved perfect for sensory exploration, as the sides were high enough that not much rice escaped (it was 35 quart size, 24.5″x17.75″x7.125″)! In addition, it still had the lid intact (making it perfect for easy storage).

I was thrilled to see that my patients played in the rice for a long time! We added little toys that were then buried. Also I put in plastic measuring cups, a funnel and a spoon which were used for pouring. Pouring (rotating of the wrist) is an excellent practice for developing fine motor skills and I emphasize this as well with the preschool kids I work with.

I was so happy to see my patients engaged so deeply in this sensory tub for so long! It is SO WELL WORTH it to create sensory tubs such as this for your child or students to explore in. In my experience, THEY entertain themselves for LONG stretches of time — such a better use of their time than video games or TV in my opinion! I hope you try it out — you won’t be disappointed!

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