Today, my son and I had an incredibly fun lesson in color! I have seen so many recipes online for how to color rice, so I thought what an inexpensive fun activity for a toddler to do while learning about color mixing at the same time. I altered it a little bit but the main idea is to take rice, cheap food color, a little rubbing alcohol and shake it in plastic bags. I don't have plastic bags in the house, so instead we used some of the remaining reusable plasticware with tight sealing lids.
Most sites recommend that only an adult should use the food color, but what fun is that? I kept a couple of rags close by, stripped my son down to his diaper (we would have used an apron or smock if it were not so hot today) and let him experiment and have some creative liberties.
I measured out enough rice to cover the bottom plus about an inch thickness in each bowl. I showed my son how to open the food coloring and how to resecure the lids (this may have been his favorite part).
First we did just single colors:
Adding red food color
The fun part of shaking and mixing the color
Making blue rice
mixing and shaking blue rice
Mixing colors to see what they make - we made a batch of purple rice, then this had almost all the colors in it and made a dark green colored rice.
I put the rice in baking pans for about an hour at 200 F, stirring occasionally. Then we poured the rice into storage jars for use later.
We already used our rice for a transfer activitiy. I took the rice that had spilled on the table while pouring it into storage jars and put it all in one bowl. Then left one of the baking dishes for him to ladle rice from the bowl to the baking dish. This kept him busy for about 45 minutes - just transferring rice from one dish to the other - maybe there should be a Zen rice ladle bowl set for adults.
transferring rice with a ladle