Here’s a simple idea to take your sensory play with materials like rice or pasta up a notch. I’ve read about versions of this game using Kool-Aid powder, but since I’m leery of a few of the ingredients in Kool-Aid, I wondered if I could copy the method with natural paint powders. The result wasn’t quite as vibrant as Kool-Aid… but that’s probably a good thing!
Set-up is a little messy. If your child is under 3, you’re probably going to need to do most of the work, although I let Travis sit in on the action. Place about 1 cup rice in large zip-top freezer bags, making as many portions as you want colors. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons paint powder to each bag. Travis did enjoy this part, so I didn’t mind a little mess!
Add 1 teaspoon rubbing alcohol to each bag, then seal the bags and let your toddler shake or knead to incorporate the color.
Transfer the colored rice to a foil-lined baking sheet. Note: you may want to separate each color with a strip of foil as well, until they are dry. Let dry overnight.
The next morning, it’s exploration time! I poured the rice into a bin for Travis, and he was amazed to see colors instead of plain white. First we explored the rice by hand.
Then of course it was time to mix them all together!
Travis would fill a smaller container and then dump it back into the larger bin, talking about the colors as they poured. Overall, the game was a nice variation, since regular rice has become old-hat around here.