This activity is a fun and colorful sensory activity that little ones will really enjoy! To set it up, you’ll need pre-made rainbow rice (or colorful birthday sprinkles), a tray, and alphabet cards. The alphabet cards can be made by printing out letters from your computer, or by simply writing letters with a marker onto index cards.
If you are interested in making rainbow rice, you’ll start by gathering your materials: uncooked white rice, various colors of food coloring, vinegar, and ziplock bags (one bag for each color of rainbow rice). Place uncooked rice into each ziplock bag until the bags are halfway full of rice. Add a few drops of a different food coloring, along with a squirt of vinegar, into each bag. Seal the bags and mix the rice, vinegar and food coloring together until the uncooked rice in each bag is fully coated in color. (If the rice is not as dark or vibrant a color as you’d like, you can continue to add more food coloring until you’re happy with the result). Pour the colored rice onto separate trays, one tray per color, and wait about an hour for the rice to dry completely. Once the colored rice is dry, you can mix all of the colors together to create a colorful sensory material!
Set the rainbow rice on trays with letter cards and invite children to practice copying the different letters. They can write with their fingers, or you can offer paintbrushes to encourage them to practice their writing grips.