Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kid's Craft Idea: Colored Rice Art Activity

Nathan's in a fun crafting phase now, and he's eager to try new things.  Although he's getting bored with standard variety crayons, an activity he never seems to get tired of is gluing colored rice to construction paper.  He's getting better at making designs on paper with the glue and I can see his coordination improving when it comes to sprinkling the colored rice on the wet glue.

I dyed all this rice a few months ago to use with Nathan and my friend's kids when they came over for a visit.  Each child got a small plastic cup full of each color: red, yellow, green and blue.  They managed to share one bottle of glue and get colored rice all over my dining room floor.  But, hey, that's what vacuums are for.  I knew in advance it wasn't going to be neat, but also not prohibitively messy.  I like to keep my messes somewhere in the middle.

Now the colored rice has been recycled many times and is of the rainbow variety, no longer in separate cups by color.  Even better!

Here's how I made colored rice for this art activity:

In a small ziptop bag, mix:

1 cup of uncooked white rice
1/2 tsp rubbing alcohol
a few drops of food coloring

Make up a bag for each color.

Mash around until the food coloring is spread evenly throughout.  When it comes to the food coloring, more is better if you want saturated colors.  The first color I tried came out weaker than the others because I was timid with the food coloring for some reason.  Get wild!  Really go for it!

Then spread out the rice on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet (or counter top, if you don't need the space for something else) to dry.  It's helpful to shake the wax paper before the rice is fully dry to keep it from sticking together and forming clumps.  Even if clumps do form, they're easy to break apart with your fingers.  You could even get your kids to do it.

The alcohol keeps the dye from coming off on your/your kids' fingers, but if their fingers come in contact with the glue and then they touch the rice, all bets are off.  The color will transfer.  FYI.  But it's food grade, so what the hey.

Have fun!  Let me know if you give it a try.  :)


  1. I love the way he is concentrating so hard in the photos, and what a great idea. I am always making coloured playdough, and could do with a change.

  2. thanks for the rice dyeing tutorial -I have tempted to try but I always thought it was trickier!

  3. Now this is an awesome idea for kids!. I've never heard of colored rice what a great idea!!

  4. Love them, really a good idea and its just lovely to see them on their own world. Love kids!!!!


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