Rainbow Rice (Tutorial)

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Are you looking for a super fun, quick and easy craft to do with your kids this summer?  I ran across this idea on Homemade Serenity.  Since the weather is getting nice and we are able to move our craft projects outdoors, I thought I would get brave and try out something with liquid watercolors.  This Rainbow Rice  coloring activity was right up my alley.  Not only is it quick enough to keep the attention of my 2 year and 5 year old, but they will be able to play with it later in a sand table or large tupperware container.

rainbow rice watercolors

 I have heard that you can also color rice using food coloring and alcohol, but that requires drying time and the food coloring is not washable.  So, I will be describing how we colored rice using Colorations Liquid Watercolors from Discount School Supply.  The supplies were surprisingly inexpensive ($2.99 for each 8 oz bottle) and can be used for tons of other crafts.  After making bags and bags of this rice, I still have 80% of my watercolors left in the bottle.  The rainbow rice required very little (2-3T) to produce nice vivid colors.

rainbow rice tutorial

Here’s how we did it:

1.  Get some nice sturdy, freezer bags, quart size.  Regular plastic storage bags don’t work nearly as well when the little ones are squeezing and pummeling that rice.  You want to make sure all that rice and watercolor stays INSIDE the bag.  We even doubled up our bags just to be sure.

how to make rainbow rice

2.  Have the kids measure 1 1/2 cups of rice (regular rice, not instant) into the bag.  I just used a 1/4 cup measuring cup and had each child count out 6 scoops of rice.

making colored rice

3.  Have an adult add watercolor.  This can be messy and you may want to use rubber gloves to keep your hands from getting stained.  I just squirted about 3 T of watercolor into each bags, I didn’t measure it out.

making rainbow colored rice

4.  Have the adult seal the bags, while being sure to squeeze out as much air as possible.  This is important during the squeezing phase.  You don’t want those bags to bust!

rainbow rice in process

5.  Let those little ones squeeze, toss and manipulate those bags until all of the rice is colored!

6.  I let my rice dry in the bags overnight.  Honestly, I didn’t even leave the bags open to air dry and they were fine to use the next morning.

Done!  This is a really fun craft idea that gives great results with minimal effort.  I was really surprised at how vibrant the colors turned out.  They were really beautiful.

What to do with your rainbow rice?  Here are some fun ideas we came up with:

1.  Put the rice in a sensory table/sand table along with some scoops and cups.  The kids will have a blast!
2.  Make a rainbow of colors and give them to your preschool teacher as an end of year gift.  Teacher’s just love getting gifts that they can use in the classroom.

rainbow rice in a vase

3.  Layer your rice in a vase or bowl for a beautiful presentation.  You can even add flowers to make a great bouquet!

The possibilities are endless!  Try this craft out today, it really is a fun one.

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About the author: I am a sometimes Physical Therapist who is currently staying home with her two little boys (and one more bundle on the way!) I love photography, cloth diapering, cooking, couponing, blogging and playing with my kids!

5 comments… add one

  • I love this idea! I have done rainbow macaroni with food coloring for the kids, but I like how they can decorate their own bowls or glasses with it. I will be trying this with our kids. Thank you for the idea and the directions!

    Reply
  • Hi there! Just wanted to let you know that I liked your idea so much, I’ve included it in a blog post of fun things to do with your kids, linking the instructions to you.

    Check it out if you like:

    http://feliciamaystevenson.blogspot.com/2011/10/5-fun-inexpensive-and-relatively-quiet.html

    Thanks for a great idea!

    Reply
  • This is just cool! I wanna come play.

    Reply
  • looks cool for the kids hal

    Reply
  • Love it! Thanks Jenni! I’m going to try this one with my kids next week! I just have to print it out first so I don’t forget…LOL

    Reply

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