DIY Literacy Game: Rainbow Rice Alphabet I-Spy Bottle

Feb 21, 2014

Don't be fooled: this simple little bottle is filled with lots of opportunities to work on letter recognition, word building, colour recognition and so much more. 

What You Need:

  • bag of rice
  • food colouring (we used red, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink)
  • white vinegar
  • baggies
  • clean empty bottle (look for a clear bottle with a removable label and no ridges)
  • letter beads (we found ours at a major craft retailer)
  • anything else you'd like to add

Make the Rainbow Rice
1. Add 1/2 cup of rice to a baggie. Add a few drops of red food colouring and just enough white vinegar to coat the rice. Shake or mix the bag until the rice is completely coated with colour. If your rice isn't vibrant enough, add some more food colouring and mix. Repeat this with each colour of rice.

2. Spread out your rice on a flat, covered surface to dry overnight. We used sheets of tin foil to protect our table.

Assemble Your Bottle1. Add the letters to your bottle. We added one of each letter of the alphabet. Add your rice. Add any additional bits and bobs (we used plastic gems). Leave a small amount of empty space at the top of your bottle so that everything has room to move around. 2. Glue the lid onto the bottle and let to dry overnight so that little hands can't accidentally cover the room with rainbow rice!Ideas for PlayPreschoolers

  • Ask your kids to shake up the bottle and then call out the letters that the see first. Ask them to share a few words that start with the letters they've found.
  • Ask your kids to find each letter of the alphabet in order. Help them with the order, if needed. You can write out the alphabet with crayons on a "cheat sheet" to help.

School Age

  • Ask your kids to find each letter of the alphabet in order in the fastest time possible. Time them and challenge them to beat their score.
  • Tell your kids to shake up the bottle and then ask them to call out five things they see around them that begin with that letter.
  • Ask kids to shake up the bottle and write down the first five letters they see. Ask them to construct a five-word sentence or poem that includes words that begin with the letters they've found.
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