It was the week of Valentine’s Day, and we were learning about the letter H. It was the perfect time to do an “H is for heart” colored rice sensory bin.
Here’s how I dyed the rice:
1) I bought a giant bag of 25 lbs of white rice from Sam’s Club. It cost about $10.
2) I put 4 cups of rice into a gallon-sized ziplock bag. I added 2 tbsp of rubbing alcohol and a lot of red food coloring (about a third of the tiny bottle).
3) I smooshed it around until the rice was all colored.
4) I repeated steps 2 &3 so I’d have eight cups of colored rice.
5) I spread the colored rice on cookie sheets and put it in a warm oven to dry and then on the counter overnight. (If it were summer and not the dead of winter I’d have put it outside to dry in the sun.) The rubbing alcohol smell was strong at first, but after the rice was dry we could’t smell it at all.
My Four was especially excited and couldn’t wait until it was time to pour the rice into the big Sterilite container.
After mixing in some white rice, I added some things to play with. I’d bought some heart cups at the dollar store, some heart-shaped bowls at Target, and some heart-shaped measuring spoons from Target’s dollar bin. We threw in a few letter “H’s” and the boys were good to go.
When I showed my sister what I’d bought she said, “Oh! I always wondered who bought that stuff.” I had to laugh. “Me too.” But you can bet I’ll be scouring those dollar bins from now on!
This time we pulled out the funnels, which work great with rice.
You can do all sorts of math with sensory bins. How many scoops do you think it will take to fill that bowl? Which container will hold more rice?
But I didn’t ask any questions this time.
They were having enough fun on their own.