A rainbow rice writing tray is engaging and colourful. This is a fun activity to encourage little ones with their early learning, pencil holding skills, or simply as a creative tool for drawing and imaginative play.
A rainbow rice writing tray is a vibrant and fun early educational activity that can be even be made over a course of a few different days. It has huge educational potential in terms of following simple instructions to create the rainbow rice, assisting little ones with their sensory development, recognition skills, fine motor skills, learning letters of the alphabet, numbers, spelling and simple vocabulary or arithmetic.
● rubbing alcohol (also known as surgical spirits)
● uncooked white rice
● food colouring
● 6 Ziploc bags for the dying process
● 6 x Ziploc bags or airtight containers for storage
● Coloured paper
● Tray (or even a large piece of foil)
1- Place a cup of rice into each of the bags and pour in a splash of rubbing alcohol/
surgical spirits making sure that the rice is generously coated in the fluid. Seal as you
2- Into each bag add a few drops of food colouring (red+yellow=orange;
yellow+blue=green; blue+red=purple). If you don’t want such a strong colour, simply use
less food colouring
3- Securely seal each of the bags and move around to gently there’s an even
colouring… great to get the kids involved with this! *NOTE: Be careful to avoid spillage
as the food colouring may stain. Perhaps best done wearing an apron and over a thick
wad of newspaper!
4- Leave these to rest for about 45 minutes, before using a metal sieve or colander over
a sink to drain off the fluids. Gently turn onto a large baking paper lined tray and place
outside in the sun (or somewhere warm and safe) for them to dry. When these are dry to
the touch (after an hour or two), these can be put into Ziplock bags for easy storage-
with no known expiry date!
5- Whilst the rainbow rice is drying, cut up some squares of coloured paper and draw on
the letters of the alphabet, or numbers. This can either be done by your children, or by
you (depending on their ages) – great for nurturing pen holding skills as well as scissor
skills. These letters can then be interchanged with eachother to create words or
mathematical sequences – together with paper squares having “+”, “-” and “=”.
6- Simply find a flat tray or piece of foil that is large enough for your needs (we used a
flower pot tray) … and get creating! Depending on the bottom of the tray, you may need
to place the rice on top of coloured paper to see the rice creations more clearly. The
possibilities for fun learning are endless.