How to dye pumpkin spice rice for fall art and sensory play.
Fall Recipe for Play - Pumpkin Spice Rice
As you might have guessed by now, we love fall sensory play. We've been on an apple kick, but as we move into October I'm ready to focus on pumpkins. Rice is one of my favorite materials for sensory play. One of the many benefits of rice play is that is lasts. I am a huge fan of any sensory material that lasts, because it saves money and time when you can reuse something for play again and again. If you saw our candy apple rice you may be wondering why I'm making another sensory rice post. Well, one day Tank and Peanut (26 months) played with our candy apple rice bin after they had been in the play pool and were therefore wearing swim diapers. With a large amount of the rice on the ground next to the bin, Peanut urinated. While I typically scoop up any spilled rice and put it back in the bin, this time around I, of course, threw it out. I did save the dry rice that was still safely in the bin. Since it wasn't a large enough amount to play with on its own I decided to make some pumpkin rice to go with the rice we already had.
How to Make Pumpkin Rice
Directions: I put the leftover candy apple rice in a gallon size ziploc bag and added a good amount of black liquid watercolor paint. Generally you don't need to add a whole lot of liquid watercolor paint to color rice, but since I was covering up other colors I needed quite a bit. I filled a separate bag with white rice and added orange liquid watercolor paint and pumpkin pie spice. Then I sealed both bags and shook them until the color was evenly distributed. I spread the rice out on wax paper to dry. It only took about an hour until all the rice was dry.
For fun I made Jack O'lanterns with the rice in round cake pans. Obviously I knew the designs wouldn't last more than a few seconds with my boys, but they were cute to look at. My older two boys, JZ (6) and J-Bug (4) were really tickled at the Jack O'lantern designs. They certainly made for a beautiful invitation to play.
Peanut eagerly mixed the two colors together, and then both toddlers got to work scooping and pouring.
I almost always leave our rice sensory bins simple and only add a couple of small containers. This allows the boys to work on fine motor skills while filling up the containers and dumping them.
Plain rice is enough fun on it's own. Coloring the rice makes it visually stimulating, and adding scent makes this a multisensory activity children love.