Friday Funtivity: Rice is Nice!!

This week, my 2-year-old was helping me cook and after we put some rice in a pot to cook, I noticed him sneaking out grains of rice and putting them in a cup to play.  I gave him a spoon, pie pan, and 3/4 cup of rice and he stood in a chair at the kitchen counter and played for nearly an hour.  Then, I sat him in the kitchen floor and he kept playing.  He loves to play “chef,” so rice is right up his ally!

It got me thinking about the classic Rice Table that we had at the day care.  It was good, cheap, clean fun–and WAY easier to clean up than sand!  It can be an indoor sandbox!  Today, we are planning to have more rice fun.  Here are some ideas we had:

  • Make a rice village–drag a small car around in a tray of rice to make roads.  Paper sign and building cut outs can be made to stand by burying the bottoms of them in a pile of rice. (They have more stability if you fold the paper and cut it 2-ply, leaving the top connected–like a tent)
  • Have a rice treasure hunt–in a deeper pan (like a wash pan), bury small objects in rice for your child to find.  A small rubber ball, car, some coins, an eraser, and game board pieces all make good treasures–make sure your child is not going to put these in his mouth and choke.  You could make something similar to a bingo board with drawings or pictures of the objects that your child can cross off the list.
  • For a tiny tot, put some dry rice into a plastic baby bottle and screw the lid on tightly. You have made an instant & practically free rattle.  Bigger kids can put some rice into a plastic Easter egg and seal with several rounds of packing tape.  Other rice instruments can also be added to your band!
  • Make your own rain stick: you need 1 paper towel tube, about 2.5-3 feet of cheap aluminum foil, 3 Tbsp., rice, masking or packing tape, paint, construction paper, stickers, markers, crayons, and glue if you’d like to decorate.  Roll the aluminum foil into a snake-like strip, put a few large loops in it (things for the rice to bounce off), drop it into the tube. Cut a piece of paper about 1 ” larger than the opening of the tube.  Then, tape it all the way around with the masking or packing tape–make sure to overlap the tape onto itself to give a better seal.  Masking tape can be colored on–packing tape is more difficult to color on! 🙂  Pour your rice into the open end and then put another paper over that end.  Decorate as you see fit!  Turn slowly end on end to hear the rain.  The more obstacles you can make with the foil, the better sound you’ll get.  Experiment with additions to the foil (like sticking some short penny nails through it–be careful, these are sharp! You could also try this with paper clips)
  • Use glue to write words on dark-colored paper and cover with rice, turn the paper up and shake off excess for later crafting use–you don’t want to eat this rice now!!

What rice crafts can you and your kids come up with?

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