December 9, 2012

Rice Sensory Bin

Rice + Food Coloring = FUN!

I have started to make sensory bins and have found some WONDERFUL ideas via Pintrest. If you don't know what Pintrest is I STRONGLY urge you to go check it out... I'm serious! GO! GO! GO! WARNING: VERY ADDICTIVE! 

For this bin I used brown rice because that's what I had on hand. But I do recommend if you want to dye it, white rice will turn out with much brighter colors. Ours came out pretty good.

They look like easter colors.!
What I used were things we already had on hand :
  • Rice - any kind or amount works
  • Food coloring - I used both liquid and gel
  • Zip lock bags - cheap sandwich ones work
  • A bin - any size will work
  • Kitchen stuff or what ever else you want to use
  • White vinegar or rubbing alcohol
First I took a cup and added maybe 1/2 cup vinegar and my food coloring. I used a spoon to mix it up really well. The gel kind left chunks but gave a brighter color. I had to use a lot more of the liquid food coloring to get a dark color, but it mixed much better. Use what ever you have!
 Then I got a zip lock bag and filled it most of the way up with rice, poured the vinegar/color mix in, closed the bag and squish it around. Sister Bear had a good time doing this! I'm sure even Brother Bear would have liked it except it was nap time. I like to let sister bear help whenever possible. Once the rice and color mixture were pretty mixed up I set it aside and did that for the remaining colors and rice.

Watching the color seep down through the rice was pretty neat. Sister bear was fascinated. The reason you use vinegar and not water is because vinegar evaporates before it soaks into the rice. If you use water, you will end up with yucky rice :-(

This was a good chance to work on colors with Sister Bear. She is 2 and a half and knows her colors pretty well, but its always good to go back to them. I love using project time as a chance to learn.                                                   


 The red was the brightest color and was neat to watch. The yellow on the other hand was very pale. But I think that is because we tried it with brown rice.

Here are all the colors after we mixed them up pretty good!

So pretty!
I ended up letting the rice sit in the bags most of the day and every time I walked through the kitchen ( which is MANY times a day) I flipped each bag over. The longer you let the rice sit, the brighter the colors. I could have let them sit over night, but I was too excited to play with it!!!

Next I poured each baggie onto a cookie sheet. I would have done one sheet per color, but I only have two :). The thinner you spread the rice the faster it will dry and be ready to use. After waiting FOREVER! for the rice to dry (ok, really maybe only an hour) I turned the oven on to warm (mine is 200o) and put my cookie sheet in there to help the rice dry. I have to say, when you warm up vinegar, the smell tends to get a little stronger. When Papa Bear came home from work, this was the lovely smell that greeted him lol.

After what seemed like an eternity, the rice was finally dry enough to play with YAY!! So I went out into the garage and found and empty clear tote for Sister Bear to play in to help contain the mess. We normally just put a sheet down in the living room and then I vacuum afterwards, but this worked even better.
I put the tote in the middle of our kitchen floor, added some fun kitchen stuff, Sister Bear and then the rice. It was fun to watch the colors mix as we poured them in.
Sister Bear helping me

The black dot is a black bean that got mixed in from the last time we played with the rice. ( before dyeing it)

Let the fun begin! We had a great time scooping and pouring. Sister Bears favorite part was pouring the rice from cup to cup and the funnel. I love how something so simple like rice and cups can be fun. Not to mention a chance to learn about colors, texture, hand eye coordination, and so much more. We really did have a good time.
A sea of colors!

Funnel fun

Scooping and pouring

Once Sister Bear got tired, clean up was really easy. I threw all the scoopers and pourers into the sink and dumped the rice into a smaller container. Then I just swept up the kitchen, which I had to do anyways. There really wasn't much of a mess. Sister Bear wore footy PJ's so there wasn't any place for the rice to hide. You know how after you go to the beach, you are still finding sand in you kids shoes, coat pockets etc... a week later? Well we didn't have that problem here! Defiantly need to remember that for next time.

Our big batch of red
Once the rice was in my smaller container I decided to that we needed more. So back to the kitchen I went. I grabbed another bag of rice and decide to do it all red. Once I mixed all the colored rice together, the blue and green looked very similar, so I wanted a bit more contrast. Here is Sister Bear helping mix up our red batch.

Once the red was all done, I just added it to the other rice and TA DA! 

I'm excited to play with this again and mix up all the red. Right now it sitting on my shelf just like that and its so tempting to go shake it :-). Maybe when we get board with the sensory bin, we will use this rice for an art project!
I hope you enjoyed reading this and I have encouraged you to try it. Please leave me a note and let me know what you think!

Have you every dyed rice and used it in a sensory bin?

No comments:

Post a Comment