Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Simply Made: How to Dye Rice/Pasta

With all of the great "What's in the tub?" ideas Cindy has been sharing, I realized some of you might not know how to dye rice or pasta for manipulatives or sensory tub activities. Since this month's Transportation Sensory Tub had blue rice in it, it's a perfect time to teach you how to make it!

This dying method will work for Rice and Pasta. With all of the different pasta shapes available, just think of the possibilities!

Materials Needed:
  • Rice or Fun Shaped Pasta
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Food Coloring
  • Bowl or Gallon Size Resealable Bag
  • Spoon
  • Paper Towels
  • Large cookie sheet/Plate
1. Place pasta in a plastic bag. (If dying rice, place in a bowl.)
2. Pour a few teaspoons of rubbing alcohol into the bag. (Use a small amount for rice!)
3. Place a few drops of food coloring into the bag or bowl.
4. Close bag and Shake! (If you have a zipper bag your little helper could do this part!)

5. Pour your pasta onto a plate with a paper towel and let it dry!
6. If your little one becomes impatient, place it outside to speed up the drying time....

We chose to make our rice outside on a warm day. Less mess for mommy to clean up!
   Jonah did all of the mixing.
   Pretty Rainbow Rice for our Sensory Tub!



Pam Mcnelly said...

I tried doing this one time and the dye kept coming off onto our there anything I could had done to prevent this? p.s. I let it the rice dry overnight, was that not long enough?

Sara M. said...

Hmmm...I'm not sure Pam. I've never had a problem with any of the batches I've made. Anyone else want to weigh in???

Liga Krista Solima said...

what do you need the rubbing alcohol for? I dy rice without it, and i think i did suceed :)

Darcey said...

I've seen this done with rice, but not with pasta. Great idea. I've included this on my weekly favorites here: your comment here.

Kristina Sherman Bonning said...

Thanks for the tips! I shared them in my post here:

Dinnae said...

Liga, you would use the alcohol to make it dry faster.  I use alcohol with shimmer paint to make a shimmer mist for my grown up paper-crafting ... it makes the mist dry super duper fast, and does the same thing as water.  alcohol evaporates in moments, and simple stirring would be sufficient, whereas the posts/instructions i've seen with rice that they use water to dye it you have to spread the rice out on paper, in a single layer... a) i don't have that much space LOL! and b) much more potential for mess with rice spread out like that. :)

Thank you Sara, GREAT instructions, and I LOVE that you did differentiate between the rice and pasta methods. :D

Dinnae Galloway said...

I can just add that I just made a bunch for my boys, for crafts and sensory play, and the water actually dries faster, believe it or not. O_o  I was shocked!  But I think it would be because the rice absorbs the water, but not the alcohol.  I tried both because I used two different kinds of food colouring: normal liquid stuff, and wilton gel colouring for icing (the super potent stuff).  The gel wouldn't mix into the alcohol, so for those colours, I had to use water.  I have 5 BRIGHT colours of rice: green, blue, purple, red, black, and 2 not so bright: yellow and orange.  So excited for them to play tomorrow!

rainbow said...

Do you think it is really safe to use rubbing alcohol with something that might be put in children's mouths? If so, why?

Jolanthe said...

Much of the rubbing alcohol evaporates during the process, but as with any activity that you do with your child, this would require adult supervision. There is a possibility that any substance at home and in the classroom could be put in a child's mouth, but unless they ingested a LARGE quantity of rice, this would not be detrimental.

Sam said...

Had that same problem

Alex said...

Should the rice be cooked already or not? Super confused D:

Jolanthe said...

No cooking - just use dry rice. :)

Thalanaya said...

I had the same problem. I think if you use a rice that is a bit more dusty then you will get more of the colored dust on your hands. I found that it washes off quite easily. I still want to experiment with making this I like the comment below about using Wiltons food color and water.