Fall is my favorite season, and having the extra time at home this year, the beautiful changing of the leaves has put me in a decidedly crafty mood. Avi, who will be coming upon 4 years old in a couple months is incessantly interested in whatever project I've got going on. She loves to paint, cut and paste, and of course, play-dough!
This project was great because it involved her at various stages of prepping and creating, and thus there was plenty to keep her hands busy.
I posted the process on Facebook, and immediately got comments about it being a must-try for other moms and their kiddos, so I thought I'd share it for all.
You'll need: dry plain white rice, food coloring (for the fall-theme, we used green, red, yellow, and orange), ziplock bag, water, some containers (or I used a muffin tin), cardboard (I recycled an empty cereal box), construction paper, white school glue, watercolor, paint brush, straw, and newspapers or some table covering.
Step 1: Dye the rice. Use about 6 drops of food coloring and 1 teaspoon of water per about a half cup of white rice. Mix it up in a ziplock bag until the color is evenly distributed. Once I dumped out the rice into the muffin tins, I rinsed out and re-used the baggie, but you could use separate ones.
4. Blown water color trees: make a watery mix of trunk-colored watercolor. Mine come in tubes, but you could adapt for tray watercolors. Using a brush, dab a tiny puddle onto the bottom of the page and let your child blow the droplet up the page with a drinking straw. This will make random tree-like branches, which is a neat treat to watch as your child figures this out. Stand by to add more paint droplets where needed, and encourage your child to blow in different directions.
6. Dab white school glue around the tree branches however you/your child likes. We also made a line of glue at the bottom just for green to be grass. Sprinkle on the rice randomly over all the glue until covered.
7. When the glue is dry (about half hour depending on how thickly it was applied), tap the excess rice off the page. Viola! Pretty falling leaves rice scene!
If you were smart and covered your surface with newspaper, you can just wad it all up and sack it in the trash. No big mess here!
Hope you enjoy this little project--my kiddo sure did!