Pour a cup of rice into a container that has a lid
Add food colouring to 1/2 tsp of vinegar and drizzle over the rice
Pop the lid on your container, and shake it. Add more colour if it’s not quite as bright as you’d like.
Transfer rice on to a tray and allow it to dry out for awhile.
Coloured rice is wonderful for sensory play, discovery bottles, and to generally brighten things up in crafting.
Use Vinegar, not Rubbing Alcohol
Most recipes for dyeing rice uses rubbing alcohol to set the food colouring so it doesn’t stain your hands when you’re playing with it.
I recommend the vinegar option a try, we know for sure it works as a more kid-friendly alternative to the rubbing alcohol.
I’m happy to say that my rice turned out really vibrant, and I’ve run my hands through all the colours while it’s drying, and the colour doesn’t transfer to my hands, you can add oil to the vinegar in rice or oil in play dough, to make it smell good.
Mix the flour, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
Add food colouring and salt to the boiling water then pour into the bowl
Stir till combined
Add the glycerine (optional)
Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it until it’s no longer sticky
If it remains sticky, add a touch more flour until it’s just right
You can display your play dough in a tray (affiliate link) with loose parts to encourage children to create and decorate!
Benefits of Play dough Play:
1. Fine Motor Skill Development: great for strengthening muscle tone in little hands – squishing, squashing, rolling, flattening play dough all develop children’s muscles and encourage pre-writing and other skills such as cutting with a scissors, using a tweezers, holding a pencil etc.
2. Calming and therapeutic: simply sitting and squashing and rolling a piece of play dough in your hand is a very calming and soothing activity. For years I have been giving children play dough “stress” balls in class as a way of easing tension, releasing extra energy, improving focus and concentration. Can be a great outlet for children to express their emotions
3. Creativity and imagination: the possibilities for play dough play are limitless – my kids love to create all sorts of things with play dough – some days they create monsters and aliens, on other occasions they have made cupcakes, pizzas, gardens, houses, Christmas decorations. I love to provide them with a wide variety of materials to use with the play dough, inspiring creativity and encouraging use of their imaginations.
4. Develops hand-eye co-ordination: by using a variety of materials and objects in play dough play can enhance hand-eye co-ordination.
5. Social skills: any activity where children are hands-on involved creates a fantastic opportunity for developing social skills. Playing with play dough in small groups and or with adults presents lots of possibilities for talk and discussion, playing collaboratively, problem solving and planning with others. Encourage your children to describe what they are doing while they play.
6. Literacy and Numeracy development: we have used play dough for a variety of literacy and numeracy activities – it’s a great fun way of involving children in literacy and numeracy activities, some of which you can see in our Pre-writing Activities.
7. Promotes Play: allows children to be children, to slow down and play, using a range of their senses and skills.