I was asked by my sister in law, Kat, if I’d share the recipe for the play rice I made with Rachael for homeschool back in November 2011. So I figured I could share it on here too to not only gawk at her cute pictures again, but also help anyone else out who is interested in making similar joy in their household.
Recipe for Colored Play Rice
1 cup regular rice.
1 tsp rubbing alcohol
food dye to your hearts content.
Step 1: Stir rice, rubbing alcohol and food dye in a bowl until the color distributes,
Step 2: Spread rice out flat on wax paper or whatever,
Step 3: Let dry for 1 hour.
***Warning: you will have fun and will need to vacuum.
***Second Warning: sometimes food dye slightly comes off on hands with prolonged play, but the dye washes off easily with soap/water and the rice still remains colored.
Recycled medicine cups, funnels, old teaspoons, large straws, whatever make wonderful play tools. And I must say, playing with rice has such a calming and soothing affect while encouraging great creativity and manipulation of the rice. We enjoyed burying each others hands in the rice and also just letting her go to town making up communities and storylines in her rice play. We haven’t tried it yet, but another way to play in the rice could be to use toy buildings, people, animals or cars to add in more story play and less sheer manipulation of the rice. But Rachael has enjoyed sitting and playing with the rice for 45 minutes, in which I had to put an end to the play because it was lunch time. I’d suggest a plastic tub with high sides that are high enough to keep most rice in, but low enough to allow the child to play without having to stand or bend their arms awkwardly. Also, the larger the tub, the more the mess – so you’d be surprised what a medium sized (for the preschooler) tub of rice would do for creating clear boundaries and also allowing all play to be in view without requiring the child to turn their head (permitting more distraction opportunities). [Recalling how we used rice for play therapy in attending to one task.] Rachael has never complained about the size of the tub of not having enough room to play. We do use the lid to put extra play items on though, when she is not currently using them. The tub we use is about the size of a show box.