Thursday, January 26, 2012

* Valentine's Day Themed Sensory Rice Box With Scented Pink Rice

"C" and I were inspired by all of the cute 
Pink (her favorite color) and Red Valentine Displays
at Target this week and decided we should make a 
Valentine-themed sensory box!

We made a quick batch of pink rice
I used Gel Food Coloring for the first time and the color is fantastic!
I am a convert. 
We also used Rubbing Alcohol instead of our usual hand sanitizer gel method
and it blended the colors really nicely and dried more quickly. 
(We used one big bag of white rice from Walmart for this box)

I also added a few drops of Lavender essential oil this time
and the rice smells wonderful,
it also makes your hands smell nice after you've been playing in it!

For this batch we used (1) 5lb. bag of white long grain rice.
I put it in a big mixing bowl and squeezed in a drizzle of red gel food coloring.
Then, I tossed in a little bit of rubbing alcohol, 
probably a capful or two. 
Then we stirred it up with a big mixing spoon.
Keep adding bits of food coloring and a little alcohol 
(to distribute it and make it soak into the rice)
until you have the color you want. 

NOTE: As you stir and the color "develops" it will get a bit darker and richer
so if you're going for lighter colors take your time and give it a minute
before you add more color!

You can also dye uncooked pasta/noodles this same way for other projects.

We added three clear heart boxes from the Dollar Spot at Target,
they're fun to use as boxes to sort into-
they'll be great for our light table too!

We also picked up some smaller pink and red mini heart boxes 
and pink heart shaped "gems" all from Target Dollar spot.
So for $4, we got all of these fun new goodies for our box.

"C" made me boxes of valentine candy all afternoon. 

I also added our mini metal mail box from last Valentine's day,
a set of red measuring spoons from our kitchen (Dollar Tree)
a red funnel, and an ice cream scoop. 

See those cute little paper hearts? 
Those are from little toothpick toppers, the kind that come with 
co-ordinating cupcake liners. 
We picked them up at Dollar Tree last week. 
We use them to make lunches and snacks "fancy" 
After we eat with them, I snap off the tops 
(without any pokey or sharp parts sticking out)
and toss them into our sensory boxes. 

I almost forgot, they had this cute silicone heart pan in the 
Dollar Spot at Target too!  (So I guess I spend $5)
Fun for counting and sorting heart gems and little toothpick toppers. 

"C" playing with her Valentine box in the playroom,
waiting for big sister to get home from school and join in the fun! 

Happy Valentine Play! 

Pink and Green Mama


rebekah @ justfordaisy said...

Oh wow! This is delightful! Now I want to find some heart shaped bits n pieces! :)

Andrea said...

love that you added the mail box. Looks like so much fun
-Jada roo can do

The Activity Mom said...

great to know about the gel food coloring!

Kirsten said...

That penguin sleeps with my daughter every night (we also have 2 backup penguins) and is important enough around here that my first thought was, "what is Penguin doing in that picture??" My second thought was that my preschooler would love this and I'm going to try my hand at dyeing rice. Thanks for the inspiration!

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

@ Kristen, Pengy is currently C's favorite lovey along with Rosie the Cat. She is so enamored with him that we are planning her 5th birthday party theme around him next month!! : ) I love that your daughter has the same lovey.


Here come the girls said...

That's so cute. I've got a valentines themed sensory box planned too, so if you don't mind I'll link to you when I do it next week.

Sheri said...

We don't have the gems or muffin pan at our Dollar Spot :( I am finding a few other things for ours though.

Darby said...

So adorable and fun. Amazing what you can get at the dollar bins at Target! Great idea on the cupcake toppers too. C is getting so big!

erica said...

Stupid question.. how much rice did you use? and how did you dye it? :)

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

Not a stupid question Erica, silly me for not including the link to our original Rainbow Rice post/recipe from 2009 -- I forget that I have new readers and need to get better about including links back to older posts in my own articles! See the above post, I just revised it with new instructions and a link to the old post as well.
Hopefully this will explain it!


The Iowa Farmer's Wife said...

I bet it smelled awesome! I bought one of those heart containers at Target after reading your post! :) We've had so much fun with it in our Valentine sensory bin! http://theiowafarmerswife.blogspot.com/2012/02/valentine-sensory-bin-2012.html

Purpose Driven Classroom said...

Thank you SO much for this wonderful idea! We made ours Monday night and my daughter has spent hours playing with hers already. We had to put in on the floor so she could put her piggies (toes) in it and bury her feet. ;) I used Lavendar pillow spray as I didn't have essential oil. I told her not to rub her eyes. Do you have to worry about that with the extract or oil? I love how she kept finding more things to add to it. On a caution note, I will tell you that our 7 month old puppy is experiencing the wrath of her binge as she ate over 1/2 of it when my daughter left it under the table. YIKES! We are already looking forward to our St. Patrick's Day tub. :) Keep the great ideas coming!

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