If you have to stay home with the kids because of lockdown or on a rainy day, it would be better not to spend the day in front of the TV. Fortunately, there are plenty of great indoor activities that are great for even the smallest children. Today we offer you an idea against the boredom on these days. You don’t need expensive toys for this, just a simple ingredient that you most likely already have in your pantry: rice! A few tips on how to color the rice and lots of great ideas for interesting children’s games with the colorful rice can be found in the article!
Coloring rice: recipes with and without vinegar
Before we get to the exciting activities, you need to create your game travel. There are a few variants for this, the most famous of which require vinegar and food coloring. You will also need uncooked rice, small bowls or freezer bags and a box or large baking sheet in which to let the rice dry.
Color rice with food coloring
You will need the following materials for this project:
- 1 cup of uncooked rice per color
- 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar (or water if you want to color the rice without vinegar) per color
- 10-15 drops of liquid food coloring in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple
- 6 freezer bags with zippers (or old food storage containers with lids)
And this is how the classic rainbow rice is made:
- Put 1 cup of rice in each bag.
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar or water with 10-15 drops of each food coloring.
- Pour the mixture of colors into the bag, close the zipper and shake well until the color is evenly distributed. Add a little more paint and / or liquid if needed.
- Place the colored rice on the parchment-lined baking sheet and let it dry well (about 1 hour).
- Repeat the last two steps for the other 5 colors.
- Once completely dry, you can either store each color in different containers or mix all of the colors together to make a colorful toy rice.
Color the rice naturally
If you don’t have food coloring or other artificial colors on hand right now, you can use some natural means of coloring instead. These are also wonderfully suitable for coloring the Easter eggs. And best of all, the natural dyes are completely non-toxic! So perfect for handicrafts with small or large children.
And how can the rice be colored naturally? First, you should prepare the stains. You need:
- Spinach for green color – puree 10 spinach leaves with 3-4 tablespoons of water and pass through a sieve
- Turmeric for yellow color – mix 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder well with 2-3 tablespoons of water
- Beetroot for pink / red color – mix 1 tablespoon of beetroot powder well with 2-3 tablespoons or puree 1 large boiled beetroot and strain through a sieve
- Blueberries or blackberries for purple / blue color – boil down 1-2 handfuls of berries, puree and strain through a sieve
Color the rice as in the instructions above. Let the paints dry well and the multicolored rice is ready to play.
Activities for children with colored rice
There are so many things your kids can do with Spielreis! Babies and children under 2, for example, can train their senses, while older children can make great rice pictures. We summarize all the possibilities that rainbow rice has to offer in the following.
Make your own sensory box for toddlers
The sensory experience plays a major role in the child’s development. The sensory box is usually a box that can be filled with various materials. The child then explores these materials with their hands and can play with them in a variety of ways. The colorful toy rice is very suitable for such a box, because it is colorful and has a specific structure. This allows your little one to fill various containers, pour out the rice and experiment with utensils such as spoons and funnels. The fun is guaranteed.
Babies under one year of age can also play with colored rice, with parental supervision required at all times. For example, you should be careful that the baby does not put the rice in its mouth. For babies under 12 months, you can put the rice directly on the floor (but preferably on a bed sheet). So the child can step on it and also practice the perception of the feet. And yes, the vacuum cleaner should always be close at hand.
Color in with rice or make rice pictures
Painting and coloring are two of the most popular activities for children. Even at the age of 2, the little ones begin to be interested in art and make their first attempts with a brush or pen. The colorful game trip offers another opportunity to get creative. When the children make pictures with rice, they not only develop their creativity, but also their sensory perception. We’ll reveal below how these great rice pictures are created.
Learn to write letters
The colored rice is not just a play area. The little ones can also learn with the help of a bowl of toy rice. They use this like a drawing board, for example, and use their fingers or another tool (brush, eraser, etc.) to write letters and numbers in the rice.
So that the child can write in the rice, you need a large bowl or tin into which you sprinkle a thin layer of rainbow rice. If the rice is too much, the letters will not shape well. To help the child learn, for example, you can provide cards with the letters and numbers that the child should then transfer into the rice.
Make beautiful rice pictures with colored rice
You can get really creative with colored rice. The art made of rice looks really nice and with a little skill you can create great pictures from the simple material. All you need is a piece of paper and glue.
Color rice and make a colorful fish
With the help of simple instructions, we will show you how the children can make beautiful rice pictures quickly and easily. In this example, a template is used to design a fish. The fish can of course also be drawn by hand.
What you need:
- colorful play rice
- white craft glue
- paint brush
That’s how it works:
1. Select a template and place it on the sheet of paper. For smaller children, the stencil can be attached to the paper with painter’s tape. Completely cover the inside of the template with glue. It is best to spread the glue with a brush so that an even layer is created.
2. Remove the template. Take a pinch of colored rice and spread it on the sheet. Apply several coats until the entire image is covered. The more rice sticks to the glue, the more beautiful the picture will be.
3. Let the glue dry completely. Then lift the leaf and shake off the excess rainbow rice. If everything went well, only the motif from Spielreis should remain on the sheet.
4. The last step is to cut out the shape. To do this, cut around the rice pan to create a small white border. The rice picture can then, for example, be attached to the wall in the children’s room with adhesive tape or designed as a gift for grandma.
Color the exotic bird
Coloring pictures can not only be colored with paints or pens. If your child uses colored rice instead, they will create great, textured designs. To create an exotic bird like the one in the picture above, you need a suitable coloring picture, glue and colorful rice. You can, for example, download and print out beautiful coloring pages or look for a picture in the children’s old coloring book.
We recommend that you “paint in” the different parts of the selected motif one after the other so that the glue does not dry out too quickly. For example, start with the bird’s beak. Have the child cover the beak with glue, and then sprinkle the chosen color of rice on it. Then you can move on to the next section. When the rice picture is ready, simply shake off the excess rice.
Coloring rice and making cards for Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is approaching and although the festival is more likely to be celebrated by adults, many children are looking forward to it as well. There are lots of great things to do with kids for Valentine’s Day. The cards can be decorated with Spielreis, for example. The simplest variant is a card with a heart motif. Have the child first draw a heart on the card with craft glue and then sprinkle some red rice over it until the glue is completely covered. Let it dry briefly, shake off the excess game rice and the original Valentine’s Day card is ready!
Draw a flower from colorful rice with toddlers
Even the smallest children can make pretty pictures with rice with a little help from their parents. To do this, you can first design the motif with the glue and the child should then just sprinkle the rainbow rice over it. If you lift the sheet and only the subject remains on it, the little one will surely be surprised.
Tinker rocket rice picture
You can make any motif from colorful play rice if you have a suitable template. This rocket, for example, offers an exciting idea for the youngsters. Smaller boys can design the rocket in one color, while the older ones can try to conjure up different motifs and patterns on it. This is also how they practice their fine motor skills.
Gift idea for Mother’s Day: make a rice picture on canvas
Every mother would be happy about a beautiful picture with a flower as a present on Mother’s Day. The children can design the picture on a canvas so that it is even more decorative and easier to attach to the wall. Just make sure the rice sticks well to the glue before hanging the picture.