Our lead Occupational Therapist was getting bored with her white rice bins so she decided to spice it up a bit and add color! Below are several recipes but the last one has step by step directions for making a kaboodle full for your therapy toy library!
Easy Colored Rice:
1 pound bag of long grain rice
1 food coloring tube of your choice
Large zip top bag
Place bag of uncooked rice in zip top bag.
Add 3 tablespoons to 1/2 a tube of food coloring to uncooked rice in zip top bag.
If you desire a deeper yellow or orange, add more coloring.
Seal bag and shake to evenly color your rice.
Spread colored rice on a cookie sheet over night to allow food coloring to dry.
Store in plastic boxes with lids for easy clean up and use.
Kaboodle fulls of Colored Rice!
To make large quantities of rice, you may want to follow this recipe as it disperses and sets the food coloring for pounds of rice! We have seen recipes with vinegar in the place of the alcohol but then the vinegar smell is present in the containers. Once the alcohol dries, the odor is gone.
5 lbs of rice
1 cup of rubbing alcohol (we made 10 lbs so we used 1 bottle of alcohol)
1/2 to 1 tube of food coloring (You can mix colors! We added yellow to the green to get our “Sprout” green!)
Large mix bowl or storage box with lid.
Plastic trash bag cut open or shower liner for rice to dry on over night.
Colored rice is a great therapy tool. Here are 10 ways we use rice on a weekly basis at Sprout Pediatrics!
1. Let children who have busy hands and like to touch everything – dig, pour, measure and play!
2. Children who seem uneasy or whiny often times calm down to enjoy rice. Hide small plastic food in the rice for discovery and describing!
3. Hide farm animals and zoo animals for them to find and as they find them have them sort into a basket for categorizing!
4. Bury various sizes of beads in the rice and as they find the beads have them string them for fine motor skills!
5. Create a themed rice boxes that correspond to various holidays. Use red rice, hearts, cards, etc. for Valentine’s Day!
6. Have the rice on top of an outside stoop. As they practice their stepping skills they have an opportunity to play in the rice for a minute!
7. Talk about action words like pouring, dumping, covering, sifting, hiding as they play. Say, “You are pouring, I am hiding.” Model simple sentences with action words.
8. Provide spoons, old medicine cups, measuring cups for practice in scooping and filling various sizes of containers.
9. Hide marbles or glass beads of different colors for some Math fun! Ask “How many blue marbles did you find?” “How many green ones?” “How many all together?”
10. Don’t forget the funnels! You will love playing with the funnels as much as your child. Laugh and Enjoy!
Last but not least, use recycled soda bottles and create I spy bottles. Funnel rice in and find small objects your child will enjoy finding and put them in the bottle. Super glue the top for safety!