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Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Under The Sea Sensory Fun Using Dyed Rice!

How to dye rice and create your very own sea themed sensory play!


Today's invitation to play was this stunning sea themed activity. It looks so appealing I want to dive right in myself! The brilliant thing about it was how simple it was to do! Honestly, sometimes I see these creations on Instagram or Pintrest and I think people must spend hours on these creations. The truth is, I am a working Mom who has barely enough time to brush my teeth, so any activity I am going to do needs to be simple, quick and relatively easy to clean up after. 

This one hits all of those criteria! In fact, I managed to get this set up while my potatoes were cooking and I was finished in time to dish up. 

Method:

Firstly, gather everything you need to make this wonderful creation. Don't forget, you can always adapt what you see to suit whatever you have in the house. If you don't have sea creatures, you could die the rice green and use farm animals. If you don't have rice, use spaghetti. If you don't have food die, use green lentils for grass or cous-cous for desert sand. Remember: Make It Work For You! 
  • Rice
  • Blue Food Colouring
  • An empty food bag
  • Sea creature figures
  • Utensils
  • A large platter, tough tray or lunch box. 
Dying rice is so simple and yet a quick search on Google and you may come away thinking you need a few degrees in order to complete it successfully. I have tried so many different methods, water, vinegar even hand sanitiser! The truth is, you really don't need any of that. 

All you need is some rice, some liquid food colouring and an empty food bag. Pop your rice into the food bag, add half a teaspoon of food colouring per cup of rice (no need to measure, just eyeball it! You can always add more rice or more food colouring if you need to). Twist the top of the bag closed, hold it tightly and smush the rice around the bag until it is fully coated in the colour you've chosen. Open the top of the bag and leave it to sit for a few minutes. 

It should dry pretty instantly, but I find giving it a few minutes just makes absolutely sure there is no transfer. If your rice is still looking wet after a few minutes, you probably need to throw in a bit more rice to soak up the liquid, mix it together again and repeat until it looks dry.

If you are using gel or paste to die your rice, you will need to add a small teaspoon of water to help spread the dye around, although if you can get hold of the liquid dye, which is usually much cheaper and available from all supermarkets or discount shops like B&M or Poundland, it is my experience that this is much more effective. 

Now all that is left is to arrange your scene.


Spread the rice out onto your tray - this one below is a reusable serving platter, but again you can use whatever you have available. I used split peas to make a star in the centre for added enticement, a variety of different utensils on the side and a book we could read afterwards which linked nicely to our activity. 

I always like to include a range of tools because it is a great scientific skill (although of course at Arlo's age he has no idea he is working on science skills!) to test out different objects. Hopefully, he will determine that utensils like the lollipop stick aren't too effective here, but the scoop and measuring cup will be much more helpful. All of these things may seem obvious to us, but they are a skill our little ones will need to develop over time. 

So, there you have it! A dyed rice sensory activity. If you decide to use a dyed rice project with your little one, or have any questions or comments, drop me a message in the comments box below! 

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