Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our Rice Tray: A Sensory Activity for Preschoolers

While looking for activities to keep us busy this winter, I've come across various "recipes" for colored rice over the last several weeks as a sensory activity for preschoolers.  I also keep seeing rice trays recommended as a pre-writing activity, so I took part of my 15 lb bag of rice, and made up a trial run to see how it would go over with the boys.

I chose to try out this version here, because it did not call for rubbing alcohol, and also just recommended using a metal bowl rather than several Ziploc baggies.  The less resources I have to use, the better!  Basically, you mix water and gel food coloring, then let the rice soak up the color for a few minutes.

I started by initially following those directions with green, but for some reason I had to add more food coloring to the actual rice to get more color; you can see the before and after below.  The colors might come out brighter with rubbing alcohol, I don't know, but for all intents and purposes, this is fine for us.

 Once I mixed a color, I dumped it in a baking sheet and put it in the oven on warm for a few minutes to speed up the drying process.  (I found that suggestion here.)

I started with 4 colors of food coloring that I already had, since it was a trial run after all, but I figure I can create more colors if I decide to expand our rice tray to a floor tote.  When I gave it to the boys, Emory dove right in, while Elliott was a little hesitant.

Then I brought out a few plastic spoons, measuring spoons, small storage containers, and different types of medicine cups.  It was definitely a hit!

About halfway through, I put the baking pan inside of a tray to contain some of the spillage, but I still felt like I cleaned up half of the rice off my floor.  In reality, it was maybe only 1/2 a cup, but preschoolers don't just spill, they spill and spread.  It was everywhere.  I'm thinking next time it is going on a blanket directly on the floor to minimize the cleanup process.  The boys had fun, though, and I think Emory in particular will appreciate adding vehicles to it next time, as he was going "vroom vroom" with my measuring spoons!

1 comment:

  1. yeah rice is great, I have not seen this recipe before, though I have seen vinegar, which I think I'm going to try too, but will give your variation a try as well :D Thanks for sharing and for stopping by my blog!