How to dye and scent rice like peppermint candy canes – for play!
Yesterday we had a Christmas themed play date, and I made some candy cane rice for the kids to play with. It was seriously a big hit – my almost three year old spent over two hours playing with it throughout the day yesterday.
Coloring and scenting rice sounds difficult, but the process is actually quite simple and quick.
To make it, you will need:
- Rice (Regular rice, not quick cooking. A cheap brand is fine.)
- Food coloring
- Peppermint essential oil or peppermint extract
- A large glass bowl for mixing
- Paper towels to dry the rice on
I colored the rice in 3 cup batches. For each batch I mixed 1 Tablespoon of vinegar with 15 drops of food coloring. Then I added three cups of rice and stirred it up!
Once the color is all mixed, add 2-3 drops of peppermint oil. If you’re using peppermint extract, I’m not sure how much it will take. But I don’t really think you can mess this up!
Then spread the rice on paper towels to dry. Once it’s dry, the food coloring will not come off on hands.
To fill an under-the-bed box, I made a total of 24 cups of rice – 12 cups of each color.
We usually play with rice on the hard kitchen floor, but for our playdate I put the tub in a carpeted room with a very large beach towel underneath. This actually worked better than the hard floor! It was easy to shake off the towel, and the rice that did escape the towel was easy to vacuum up off the carpet. Spilled rice scatters faster and farther on hard floor…
If you like this idea, check out our funnels and tubes pegboard – another great way to place with rice!