Thursday, January 22, 2009

Writing in Rice

I had read about how to dye rice different colors and so we gave it a try this week. First, I poured about a half a cup of brown rice (any kind of rice will do, I just used brown rice because that's what we had) into several different ziplock bags. Then I poured 2 tsps of rubbing alcohol into each bag and a couple drops of food coloring. The kids helped me make the colors by shaking the bags once they were zipped. We started with the primary colors, and then we mixed red and blue food coloring to make purple and red and yellow food coloring to make orange. Who would've thought? A little review of primary colors just in the preparation for this activity! To finish, I layed the rice out to dry. I doubled up the wax paper that I layed it on to ensure none of the dye leaked through to my counters.
Once the rice had dried, which took about two hours, I poured each color onto a plate. From there, I showed the kids how to draw and make designs or letters in the rice. We drew shapes, tried to make hand prints, drew with a pencil in the rice, we even tried cookie cutters on the rice! The first picture my son made he lifted up the plate to show me, spilling half the rice on his plate. It was okay; he learned a valuable lesson about gravity from the experience! Both kids got really creative with their drawings. They enjoyed the sound of the rice against the paper plates, the feel of it between their fingers, the way it looked dropping from their hands like rain, and even the smell. They especially loved the colors! They had to learn to be gentle and show restraint or otherwise they'd spill all the rice on their plates.
This was a really fun activity that we will probably do again and again. Not only that, but I had another activity in my mind for the rice, which I'll be posting on here soon!

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