Rainbow Rice

Joining Pinterest has help remind me of some of the fun activities I used to do with my “older generation” of children.  Having only 1, 2 or 3 kids naturally left me with the time to be creative.  Now with 6 kiddos, each day is a delicate balance of scheduling, patience and putting out fires :)
So last week, I decided to clear my morning and find something different and creative to do with my little ones.  This rainbow rice was the choice and it was a HUGE success…..and a huge mess, but that’s not the point, right?!?!

In fact, my four year old had so much fun that he flat out refused to go to preschool the next day, so he could stay home and “have fun with Mom.”  I think I need to put more effort and creativity into my time with these younger kids just like I did with their older siblings.

Yes, it does make a big mess, so lay out a blanket for them to dump it on.  It makes for a quick clean up by dumping it back into the container.  Some of it does have to be vacuumed up, but their pure joy is worth the mess.  Every morning, my two year old asks to play with her “ice”.  I think the plan can be labeled a complete success.

The rubbing alcohol does have quite a strong smell, but once it dries, the smell is gone, so don’t be afraid!

Rainbow Rice
(adapted from Share and Remember)
For each color of rice:
4 C uncooked rice
3 T rubbing alcohol
2 small globs of food color gel, or 2 T liquid food coloring

1.  In a gallon size ziploc bag, combine all three ingredients.  Remove the air and zip close.  Smoosh and mash the bag until the color is evenly distributed.
2.  Pour onto a cookie sheet and allow to dry completely.  It helps drying time to stir it occasionally.


  1. says

    Sandra: The honest answer is I don’t know. I don’t think I would be comfortable eating it afterward. The food coloring is completely safe, but I would be afraid of any traces of rubbing alcohol which is definitely not safe. Plus, once my kids are done playing in it, it isnt the cleanest rice in town either :)

  2. says

    I know when I tried dyeing pasta, you can replace the rubbing alcohol with vinegar. Not sure if it would work with rice or not, and even if it did, I don’t know how the color would hold up while cooking. Now, if you added food coloring directly to the water while cooking it I would think it would color up quite nicely…

  3. Heather says

    Thanks so much for this! It was a great rainy day activity getting to made, and a great busy box activity for my preschool kids. I love your site… thanks for taking the time to share!

  4. says

    I just found your blog thru pinterest…I love pinterest! Your blog is great…My baby is 19 but you made me smile remembering what i used to to with them when they were young. Like you said the smiles are worth the little bit of mess!

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