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November 19, 2013

Candy Cane Activities - Candy Cane Rice

Candy Cane Rice - Christmas Recipe for Play

How to make rice that smells just like a candy cane for Christmas sensory play.

We've been sharing fun and simple candy cane activities for kids.  We have made candy cane shaving cream, candy cane cloud dough, and today we are sharing candy cane rice.  Like shaving cream and cloud dough, rice is one of my favorite sensory materials.  When stored in an airtight container it lasts forever.  We almost always have a sensory bin full of rice.  I recently packed up our pumpkin rice in a ziploc bag until next year, and my twin toddlers were ecstatic when I filled the bin with our candy cane rice.  They could hardly wait to get their hands on the new rice!  This might be my favorite Christmas recipe for play that we have shared so far, mainly because it entertained two two year olds for over an hour, freeing me to get some chores done and make dinner.

Christmas rice for sensory play that smells just like a candy cane!

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Easy to make candy cane rice for Christmas sensory play

How to Make Candy Cane Rice for Christmas Sensory Play

Directions:  To make the red rice JZ (6) and I filled a gallon size ziploc bag with rice and squirted in a generous amount of red liquid watercolor paint.  We added a drop of peppermint essential oil to make our rice smell like candy canes.  I sealed the bag, and JZ shook it hard to evenly distribute the color.  Once we were satisfied with the color I spread out the rice on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and left it out to dry for a couple of hours.  It was dry when my toddler twins woke up from their nap, so I layered the red peppermint rice with plain white rice in a bin and invited them to play.

How to make candy cane rice for sensory play

No matter how many times we play with rice, watching my little guys scoop, dump, stir, sprinkle, and pour never gets old.  They work with such focus and purpose.

I especially enjoy watching them play together and take turns with the spoons and containers.

When not in use our sensory bins are stored in our sensory table with a secure lid, so they are ready the next time we play.

Rice is almost always guaranteed to calm and entertain my kids.  The peace far outweighs the mess from the stray kernels.

Because sometimes you just need to climb into the sensory bin.

Or dump rice on your brother's head.

We've been having so much fun gearing up for Christmas with these simple candy cane recipes for play.  Stay tuned for more ideas!

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  1. I love this idea! I'm off to Costco to get a huge bag of rice at the weekend. Definitely trying to do more sensory play at home with my 19 month old. Thank you so much for your inspiration!


  2. Dumping it on his head! Fantastic! Love it. Tks for sharing

  3. What a fun play idea, and I bet your house smelled pretty amazing too. Pinned.


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