Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rice Mosaic

So we did a fun little activity to go along with the book A Grain of Rice by Helena Clare Pittman. Again, this activity is thanks to the book, Learn at Home Grade 4, which we absolutely love for our homeschool!

If you haven't read the book, it's basically about an extremely clever peasant and a princess who want to marry, but good old dad, the Emperor, is standing in the way. It's fun to see how the clever guy wins over the Emperor by starting with a simple grain of rice. CLB loved it! So he decided to do the accompanying rice mosaic craft that was suggested in Learn at Home.

First I had to dye rice different colors. It's really not that difficult, but you need a bit of space. I divided one bag of rice into 6 different baggies. Then added enough rubbing alcohol to cover the grains (just a couple of tablespoons will do, I think, but I did use more than that). Then I added drops of regular old food coloring into each bag, mixing colors until I had the entire rainbow:

The colors came out so vibrantly!
After soaking in the baggies for a bit, I just poured out the extra alcohol and laid the rice on piles of paper towel to dry. Once they dried up, I put them into clean baggies to keep them separated.

The next day, CLB decided on a picture to make. He wanted to make a tree, so used regular Elmer's glue to lay down the trunk and branches. He got a little carried away with the glue, so I suggested he use cotton swabs to move the glue about the page. As he completed each part, he would sprinkle the glue with colored rice, and then move onto the next piece. 

CLB has always said that he prefers making abstract art to real life pictures. I guess that's pretty obvious with this depiction!

Now I should warn you that gluing rice, although fun, is a bit messy, so have a broom and dustbin on standby! But CLB had a blast, and, although it's tough to see the tree because he decided to use some unusual coloring, he was really proud of the result. And that's all that matters, right!?!


  1. How neat!Creativity is so important when learning and retaining information. I should check out both books and I will pin your post!

    Thank you for linking this post at the Show Off Weekend Blog Party!


  2. This is absolutely wonderful! My lil miss loves crafts of all types, and I may definitely have to try this with her. Going to pin for future reference! Thanks so much for linking up with the Show Off Weekend Blog Party! Have a wonderful week!

  3. This looks fun! I have colored pasta before, but not rice!