Colored Rice and Rainbow Cakes

Recently, Coffee Powered Mom posted about a dyed rice craft for kids. I’ve been meaning to write my own post since I organized this as an activity at my son’s school in April.

Jar filled with layers of dyed rice

I’m a fan of Coffee Powered Mama’s blog because, frankly, the name is awesome. She also revealed that she, too, eats junk food after the kids go to bed. I wonder if she also has a “mommy cereal” cabinet. (That is a totally unfair moniker, by the way, since my hubby is more prone to snack on sugar cereal than I am.)

CPM provides detail on how to make the rice, or you can use these written detailed instructions. In a nutshell, combine 1 cup of rice, a few drops of food coloring, and a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol in a container and shake to combine.

Did I mention I did this activity with 23 preschool children, aged 3-6? I’m guessing their measurements varied. You don’t need to be accurate with the amounts. They had a blast shaking up their portions and inventing new colors from the basic four dyes.

Backtracking a bit, I tested out the activity at home with my son before taking it to school. Unfortunately, I failed to mention to hold the cap of the container tightly while shaking. On his third shake, blue rice sprayed over our counters and floor. Ooops.

After you make several colors and allow them to dry, scoop spoonfuls of colored rice into a jar. Decorate the jar with ribbon if you have it on hand. We had a lot of left-over rice so we used some glue to make rice-art. Next time I’d like to put some in the sandbox and do a sifting activity with a kitchen strainer.


Dyed-batter layered in a a jar and baked.

A few weeks later I was pleased to see that my son’s teachers adapted the activity. They made “rainbow cakes” as gifts to us on parents day. The teachers wrote. “The children were excited to make the rainbow cakes and it took great willpower to not eat them beforehand. After spooning a portion of each of the colorful batters into the jars, the children watched them disappear into the oven and then reappear as deliciously, colorful cakes.”


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2 thoughts on “Colored Rice and Rainbow Cakes

  1. There are most definitely a few cereals that I buy when they’re on sale, and then I eat them when the kids aren’t around. As an adult, I am making an informed decision to put that garbage into my body. My children aren’t old enough to make those kind of decisions yet.
    Or something like that, hahaha!

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