Color Changing Rice

November 04, 2013
I love experimenting with common household items to create fun art and play recipes.
This next recipe for play is simple to make, and there are tons of ways for kids to play & explore!
Magical color changing rice- easy to make and so many fun ways for kids to play!
This magic rice is fabulous for sensory play, exploring a bit of science, and for learning and reviewing colors & color theory.  Rosie and Jewel have had lots of fun playing with their magic rice, and it is really easy to make which I LOVE!

To Make Magic Rice You Will Need:
  • White rice
  • Food coloring or washable watercolors
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Zip seal bags
Divide the desired amount of rice into zip seal bags, one bag for each color of rice you wish to make.  I used one cup of rice for each color, and we made the whole rainbow using a total of 7 cups of rice.  We buy our rice in 10 pound bags at Walmart for only $5. 

In a small bowl mix together 1/8 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of water, and several drops of food coloring or liquid watercolors.  The baking soda will dissolve in the water.  Pour the liquid mixture into one of the zip seal bags.  Then seal the bag and shake well.  Continue to shake and mix the ingredients until all the rice is saturated in color.  Repeat these steps for each color of rice you are making.  Once your rice varieties are saturated in the colorful magic mixture lay the rice out to dry on a cookie sheet or similar.  Some of the rice may clump together as it dries but will break apart easily once it is handled.

Magic Color Changing Rice- SO FUN!
This rice is so colorful and fun!  Rosie and Jewel had lots of fun playing with it just like this.
Magic Color Changing Rice
Kids can scoop, mix, dump, and pour the rice for fabulously fun sensory play. Give kids spray bottles of vinegar and let them explore simple science. Rosie and Jewel never get tired of this trick

You can also use the rice to explore color theory. I set up a color mixing lab for Rosie, and she had so much FUN!

Color Mixing Lab with MAGIC Rice

 In a shallow pan I set out piles of rice with varying colored vinegar beside each rice color.  I corresponded the vinegar and rice colors so that when combined they would create new colors (Red and blue to make purple, blue and yellow to make green, and yellow and red to make orange).  As Rosie played scientist I asked her what she thought would happen if she dropped a certain color vinegar onto a certain color rice.

She was not sure, but she soon found out!   The rice magically changed color!  The blue vinegar and red rice gave us purple.

Yellow vinegar turned the blue rice green and red vinegar turned the yellow rice orange.

Magic Color Changing Rice

Rosie was in awe of the magic color changing rice! She played and played until her whole tray was covered in a beautiful magic rainbow of color.

One other fun way to play with this rice is to make magical eruptions. Both girls had lots of fun with that. I set out plain vinegar and had Rosie and Jewel toss two different colors of rice into the vinegar. Blue and yellow rice gave us a green eruption...... and so on
After the rice experiments I used a strainer to rinse the rice with water and then set it out to dry. It is still colorful and can be used for future sensory activities. You could also re-color the rice using the above method to make it magical again. SO FUN!

Magic Color Changing Rice

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More About the Author

Crystal Underwood is the writer and creator of Growing A Jeweled Rose. She has worked extensively with children and strongly believes in the importance of play at the core of early learning. She is passionate about the early years and believes that childhood should be a truly magical time in life. For all the best kids activities connect with Growing a Jeweled Rose below!