Making colorful and scented rice for preschool

When I get started on something – I just keep going until I have exhausted all the ideas I can come up with.

…Or until all my dishes are dirty or until I run out of supplies – which ever comes first.

Making colorful rice

This week, I worked on making colored rice to use for a variety of projects and sensory activities. I don’t yet have a plan as to when I will use the rice, but I know I want to use it at some point.

I started off making the rice using this recipe from Praying for Parker. I added about a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and about about 30 drops of food color to a quart size baggie then mixed added about 2 cups of rice and mixed it all together.

I wanted vibrant colors – so I added a lot of food color. I liked using the alcohol and food color combination because it helped the rice to dry almost instantly. The key to making this is to not overdo the amount of liquid you mix the rice with and to let it dry completely before putting it away in an airtight container.

The one thing I didn’t like about using the rubbing alcohol was that it left the rice with a slight alcohol odor. So I got to thinking that maybe I could try dying the rice with a little bit of Koolaid instead. I mixed one packet of Koolaid with a tiny bit of very hot water so the Koolaid would dissolve completely.

Then I poured the dissolved Koolaid powder over the 2 cups of rice I had in the bag.

Then I sealed the baggie closed and mixed the Koolaid liquid through the rice.

Then I set it out on a piece of wax paper to dry overnight.  Since I used a water based liquid, I wanted to give the rice extra drying time before putting it away.

I tried out several colors of Koolaid packets I had in the house and discovered the red, orange, blue, and purple colors had the brightest finish and the strongest smell.

Make sure the Koolaid is dissolved completely before trying to mix it with the rice. I used the end of a spoon to stir the Koolaid in the water just to be certain.

I even tried making some chocolate rice by using cocoa – it turned out okay but was a little harder to get it to mix correctly because the cocoa and water stayed thick.

But in the end – the cocoa rice worked out too. Not my favorite but it is a keeper!

Choosing the best method

Overall, the Koolaid rice turned out maybe a tad lighter than the food color/alcohol rice but not so much that it mattered. In one bag, I added a little food color to the koolaid because I thought it was too light. The smell of the Koolaid rice adds a new sensory experience that can be really fun!

Now that I have my collection all ready to go, I need to decide what I want to do with it. The gang on Teach Preschool on Facebook gave me lots of ideas! Oh, and I stored all my rice in plastic jars I bought from the Dollar Store!


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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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