Fall Recipe for Play - Candy Apple Rice
We are on a roll with these fall recipes for play. Over the past couple of weeks I've shared fall sticky paints, fall playdough, pumpkin spice latte Oobleck, fall finger paints, apple printing with erupting sidewalk chalk paint, fall clean mud and apple pie dough. It seems like our apple scented recipes have been huge hits with my boys, so I decided to mix up a batch of apple scented rice for fall sensory play.
How to Make Candy Apple Scented Rice
Directions: In the past I colored my rice or pasta using food coloring, liquid watercolors or Duncan Hines Frosting Creations and a little vinegar. Often times the vinegar overpowers the fun scents. I thought the vinegar was necessary to set the color. As it turns out, vinegar isn't needed. I learned from Fun at Home with Kids that it can be omitted, and now we always dye rice with this simple method.
To make our candy apple rice I poured rice into four ziploc baggies. I added the coloring and scents to each bag: golden delicious yellow, caramel brown, candy apple red, and apple cinnamon green. I added vanilla to the yellow rice to give it the smell of a golden delicious apple. By far the cinnamon was my favorite. The rice is over a week old, and the cinnamon still gives off the strongest scent. I sealed each bag and shook them hard until the color had spread evenly. Then I opened each bag and left it out to air dry on a high shelf, out of the reach of my twin toddlers. I usually dry rice or pasta on wax paper, but by giving the bags a shuffle upon occasion, it dried just fine in the open bags. I do not recommend this drying method if you aren't in a position to shake up the rice now and then, because mold could grow on the damp rice.
I set up a super simple invitation to play with the candy apple rice for Tank and Peanut (26 months). I left the rice separated by color and put the four colors into a large bin.
It didn't take long for their small hands to mix up the four colors.
Rice is the one sensory material that both of them can play with for a solid hour without losing interest. All they need are a couple of small containers for scooping and dumping, and they are set.
We are working on keeping all the rice in the bin. They get a bit carried away with all the pouring that they forget to keep the rice in the bin. Thankfully rice vacuums up easily.
JZ (6) joined them for a bit. Two of the many things I love about rice are that it is fun for all ages, and it can be stored and used again and again. Here are my favorite sensory materials that last.