Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Nowt as nice as rainbow rice

The only thing rice nicer than our rainbow rice is a packet of Rainbow Drops, which technically were rice and were delicious!  Do they still do them?  Anyway, showing my age and digressing...
Rice.  I've washed it, cooked it and eaten it of course, but I've never coloured it and played with it.  Until a few weeks ago.  To be honest I didn't have a clue how to colour it and I was less convinced that once coloured we would actually be able to play with it.  I mean what DO you do with rice.  So after googling (what WOULD we do without google) how to colour rice, we set about doing so.  With hindsight it might have been better to think about what we would actually *do* with it after we had coloured it first but I got swept up in the excitement and started gathering our ingredients.

Step one: get rice and pour in jar.  It helps to find a funnel that fits the jar BEFORE giving the container of rice to a toddler!  Else be prepared to pick rice up from worktop/floor/clothes/sink and anywhere within 5 miles that rice can scatter to and lay on

Step two: add vinegar.  Luckily I have loads of white vinegar that I use for cleaning

Step three: add a few drops of food colouring.  Or a great big squeeze if you are nearly two years old

Step four: shake jar to mix it all up

Step five:  Sieve contents to get rid of excess vinegar

Step six:  pour it out and leave it to dry, we put it in the dehydrator (because I'm impatient) but I'm sure a low oven/sunlight/airing cupboard/tumble drier(?) would do.

Repeat using different colours.

Hmmm, finding the gem is a bit too easy Nanny!
Voila!  You have dried coloured rice.  It actually feels great just to run between your fingers, but I set up a 'treasure hunt' for C.   I 'buried' gems in the rice for her to find and left a little dish in which she sorted them in colour pairs (this is something a lot of toddlers do naturally as this age).  There was a slight flaw in my design.  Not enough rice to "bury" anything, not even a small gem, convincingly.  So we made another batch, far more confidently and with the efficiency of a pro.  Actually I did it whilst C was asleep (that impatience thing again) and ended up with enough for her to sit in, stand in and bury other things in.  Another night we set up the tub of coloured rice with her sand/water spinner.  Of course Nanny and Grandad had to try it out first.  Just to make sure it worked.  Very therapeutic.