In case you don't know, Pinterest is basically a shared inspiration board -- all visual and full of amazing, fantastic ideas and crafts and recipes and fashions and finds and DIY ideas you'd never come up with on your own but will be amazed by. Seriously. I haven't been so enthralled with a website since maybe Twitter -- and Twitter took longer to win me over.
I even went to the local Pinterest meet-up a few weeks ago, just because I wanted to be around the people who made the site possible.
The Pinterest t-shirt is a little big on Eve.
While most of the things I see on the site fall into the "aspirational" category -- home decor I could never make work, fashions for women three feet taller and 100 pounds lighter than I am, hairdos I would end up in the hospital trying to do myself -- there are MANY great ideas I swear I will employ.
One such amazing, clever, and easy(ish) craft ideas I found was a tutorial for a Colored Rice Table. A table! To occupy toddlers! That's not sand or water-filled! (Very important because Eve has entered a stage where she would spend all day playing in the sink if we'd let her.)
Not only does a rice table make sense, but the photo from the Shared & Remembered blog was so gorgeous, I had to try it:
So this Saturday morning, we saddled up the family wagon, headed to WALMART (YES, YOU HEARD ME) and bought a ginormous bag of rice, a plastic bin with a lid, and what I thought was food coloring.
And then we took it all home and got to work.
HOW TO MAKE A COLORED RICE TABLE APPROPRIATE FOR TODDLERS
Direct from the Share & Remembered blog, which you should go visit for more amazing ideas like these:
I measured out the rice (4 cups) and put it in a Ziploc bag with about 2T of food coloring or liquid water colors (works great!) and 3 T of rubbing alcohol. The kids helped me mix the rice in the bags to spread the color. We put them on pans to dry in the sun.
Don't you love when craft instructions are one sentence long? Well, actually, if you're anything like me, the answer is no. Because you don't really have any idea what you're doing and more instruction and explanation is always welcome.
Thus, here are my notes:
- If you buy a 20-lb bag of rice, you don't also need two smaller-but-still-giant bags of rice as well. The 20-lb bag will be plenty.
- The thing that WalMart sells that's in the food decorating aisle with all the crafty stuff? That looks like it's food coloring but is called "Icing Color" and is in cute little jars? It's not food coloring exactly. It's a really, REALLY, REALLY concentrated colored substance that is like a jelly. If you're not careful, it will stain your hand. (But not your counters or child.)
- I don't have any idea why you use alcohol instead of water, but probably because water will seep into rice immediately and alcohol...doesn't? And maybe dries faster? I don't know, Craft Physics.
- Given that I had this weird jelly substance, I wasn't sure if you were supposed to mix it with the alcohol before adding it to the Ziploc bag full of rice, or if you just throw everything into the bag and hope for the best. But I decided it made sense to add the alcohol to the jelly in a small bowl and mix it around -- making the jelly a little more liquid-y and easier to mix with the rice.
- If you end up using these color-jellies instead of normal food coloring (they worked fine and had lots of color options and were cheap, at $1.68/jar), you do NOT need 2T. In fact, you need like, barely half a TBS, depending on how deep a color you're trying to get. Play around with it. The good thing is that if the color is too concentrated, you can just add more rice to the bag while you're still mixing it/before it dries. If the color is too faint, just add more.
- I had about 1/4 of the bag of rice left even after using 5 colors with more than 4C in each, so I decided to line the bottom of the bin with it. I figured once all the colors were mixed up, having white in there would look nice, and what's the harm in having more fun stuff to play with?
Here were the results! So pretty! (Click for larger! They don't suck!)
Mixing is totally fun!
Note: ground is NOT wet because it was raining. Ground is wet because Eve turned on the hose because she will do anything to play in water. We need a new diversion!
The vibrancy of the color is due entirely to my having no idea how much "Icing Color" to use.
It kind of worked in my favor!
It kind of worked in my favor!
So pretty! Just needs to dry a little before toddler hands get into it!
You can't tell, but I have this long bin on top of another plastic bin turned upside-down.
Better than a sandbox in every way! Eve loved the table and cried when she had to come inside to eat dinner. "MORE RICE PLAY!" she said.
As far as I'm concerned, that's a rave review.