For a mess-averse mom like me, I’m quite proud of myself for making colored rice for my children to play. I’ve known about the benefits of playing with rice for a while now, but every time I thought about putting it to practice, all the mess-averse fiber in me says no. My brain naturally takes me to a world of mess as a result of allowing rice as a play medium. I shudder every time! Yeah, I’m a bad mom. However, this has all changed because more and more I’m convinced that rice is a very good sensory play for the children. Several years ago when one of our children had sensory problems, a therapist brought over a tub of rice for her to play. She was allowed to squeeze, stomp, fling, fill, and touch with it while the rest of the kids sat and watched her, doubtless with much envy. So, today, I’ve put a stop to that envy from years ago. Truth be told, they have already forgotten that, but I haven’t.
While plain white rice is fine to play with, colored rice is lot more appealing and fun. It is very simple to make. The recipe I used was:
3 cups of uncooked rice
2 TB of vinegar
drops of food coloring (we used as many drops as it takes to make the desired color)
Pour 3 cups of rice into a Ziploc bag. Mix the vinegar and the food coloring in a bowl, and when you’ve reached the desired color, pour the mixture into the bag. Seal it and massage it well so the rice is well colored.
The kids made purple, turquoise, and orange rice.
After the rice is well coated, we laid them out on trays to dry.
Even before the rice is completely dried, the kids already started to play with it. It’s just too much to resist. I certainly didn’t stop the child from composing a message of “I love you” to me.
After rice is dried, I boxed them and handed them over to the kids. To keep the mess more contained, I laid down a bed sheet on the floor and let them go at it. I keep telling myself that it’s ok. . . it’s going to be ok because I can simply vacuum all the stray rice up and the room will be restored to a rice-free room once again.
Let happiness and creativity reign!