Rice Play


What do you do when you open a new bag of rice from the supermarket, only to find it has bugs in it?

A.  Throw it out

B.  Take it back to the supermarket and demand a refund.

C.  Colour it and play with it!


The easiest way to colour uncooked rice is to put it into a large ziploc bag with a few drops of food colouring.  Seal the bag up, and toss the rice around inside the bag until the colour has been evenly distributed.  Pour the coloured rice out onto a tray and leave until completely dry.

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Since we had so much rice, we coloured four separate lots.

Once the rice had dried, I poured the colours into separate containers ready for play.

I also spread out a large tablecloth on the floor to assist with cleanup!

I gave the kids a tray each, with an assortment of kitchen items including:

small containers
cupcake wrappers
egg cartons
plastic cups

They enjoyed carefully layering different colours…

…mixing the colours together…

…and pouring til their containers overflowed!

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This kind of play made a fabulous mess, of course!  The tablecloth on the floor worked wonderfully.  I was able to scoop it all up, and pour the rice back into containers.  The fun of layering different colours could only be enjoyed once, but I didn’t stop the kids from mixing the colours up.  In fact, I didn’t interfere with this play at all.  Both my three year old and five year old played independently for an extended period of time quite happily: pouring, mixing, measuring, layering, and talking to each other as they went.

So all in all, the rice wasn’t wasted.  We didn’t eat it, but we had a whole lot of fun playing with it!

4 thoughts on “Rice Play

  1. Brian would love this, but I’m pretty sure I’d be cleaning up rice for months. The tablecloth was a great idea! FYI – We keep our rice in the fridge to prevent bugs – obviously that’s tough if they were already there!

  2. Wow! What a fantastic idea! I can’t wait to try this with both my 4 1/2 year old and the Prep children I am teaching this year. It looks like so much fun – I think the ‘big’ kids will want to play too!

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