I wanted to share these wonderful photos of my son exploring texture, object permanence, transferring materials into containers of various volumes, and using tools. Those are the concepts I noticed he was exploring with the Rainbow Rice tray.
He selected the toys and tools to use for this activity. I selected the types of toys and tools for him to use, but allowed him to choose from my designated pile of toys.
We buried several objects in the Rainbow Rice and used measuring spoons and scoops to excavate them. When we hid them, we asked, "Where did it go?" and you can see DHH's gestures and facial expressions show what we were saying!
Here's a photo of the rainbow of rice I made, approximately five pounds of it! Of course, it did not stay sorted for very long! I kept several small bags of individual colors so we could use it for a few other projects (maybe something with glue... textured pictures?)
It wasn't very messy. I just spilled a handful of rice on the counter. I thought I would have made a bigger mess on this, honestly! And I thought it would have taken much longer as well. It only took about 25 minutes from start to finish! I did it alone, however... I cannot imagine that it would have gone really well to have included my toddler in the creation process. Maybe when he's three!
Here are the "ingredients" of Rainbow Rice:
Its important to use the "good" zipper bags - you don't want a leak! You can reuse the same 3 or 4 for mixing purposes.
Buy the largest, cheapest bag of rice you can find. White dyes better than brown.
Buy liquid food coloring - not the gel kind.
GermX - its alcohol based, so it helps the food coloring absorb into the rice and dry. I used about 10 pumps per bag, but I could have/should have used half that amount!
I saw this activity on the blog Pink and Green Mama (what a great blog name that is! Mine might be Fuschia and Green though... :o)) linked from this family's website.