I love using colored rice with my kinders and you will often find it as part of my centers.
This fall sensory play sight words center is one that I like to have ready for back to school. The rice will last for a really long time if you keep it in an air-tight container. I love using colored rice with my kinders and you will often find it as part of my centers.
How to make the fall colored rice
Making colored rice was one of those tasks that I put off for years thinking that it was too complicated. I promise you that it’s much easier than you think! On a hot sunny day, you’ll be done in less than 30 minutes.
What you need:
- White Rice
- Food coloring – for the fall colors we used red, yellow, and green (and mixed red and yellow to make the orange)
- White vinegar
- Baking paper
- Zip Lock Bags
- Air tight storage container
What to do:
- Place the rice into different zip lock bags (one for each color)
- Add a little bit of vinegar (not too much or it will take forever to dry)
- Add 2-3 drops of food coloring
- Close the bag and shake the rice until all pieces are colored
- Spread the rice on a tray or baking paper to dry
- Leave in the sun till dry (approximately 20 minutes on a hot day)
This activity goes well with:
How to use the fall colored rice
Before mixing up all of the colors I have just made, I like to use the individual colors for some activities first. One of my favorites is to place the rice on a plate or cookie tray and have the children practice writing their letters or words. My students LOVE doing this as part of handwriting lessons and it’s also a great fine motor activity for them too.
The next way that I like to use this activity is for learning letters and sounds. For this activity, I used magnetic letters that I already had in the classroom and I’m sure you have some form of letters you can use too. There’s no need to buy or make anything special for this – work with what you’ve go. Laminated letters or flashcards would also work. Depending on the level of the students, some of the ways I use the letters are:
- Letter find (find all of the T’s) – if you have magnetic letters and a magnet wand this works even better!
- Find all of the vowels or consonants
- Uppercase and lowercase sort
- Find or match up the letters of your name
You can also do similar activities with numbers.
For the students who are working on sight words, there are many different ways to use this and some of my favorites are:
- Add laminated sight word cards to the rice and have them find a particular word, or say a word when they find it.
- Add individual letters and have them spell out their sight or spelling words (pictured)
- Add picture and word cards and have the students find the matching pairs.
What else can I do with fall colored rice?
Remembering that the rice will last for months if stored correctly (air tight container) there’s no need to use it only for literacy and centers. Don’t forget the simplicity of adding all of the rice into a big container with scoops, cups and funnels and the children will have ball playing with it!
You can also add some plastic pumpkins and apples and anything else ‘fall’ you can find and turn it into a creative play activity too. A Halloween theme also works well.
I hope you enjoy this fun, hands on sensory activity and I’m sure your kinders will!