Messy Play for Matilda Mae: Pink and Purple

This week our messy play linky has a theme.

The theme is Pink and Purple.

I had lots of ideas for this theme including hiding treats in coloured jelly and our sticky sugary playdough.

In the end though I went for making coloured rice and I am so glad that I did.

Not because Esther and William were overly excited about the end result.

But because I loved the creative process and found it quite therapeutic.

In fact, making rainbow rice may be one of my new favourite things to do!

For this activity I made pink rice, purple rice and green cous cous.

I also scented them so the rice was vanilla scented and the cous cous was peppermint.

Quite literally good enough to eat.

To make this coloured and scented rice I tried two methods.


Put the uncooked rice or cous cous that you want to colour into a zip lock bag
Add your chosen food colouring
Add your chosen scent / extract
Mix together by kneading and rolling the rice until the colour is evenly spread
Empty rice onto tin foil
Leave to dry


Put the uncooked rice or cous cous that you want to colour into a plastic bowl
Add your chosen food colouring
Add your chosen scent / extract
Mix together with a wooden spoon until the colour is evenly spread
Empty rice onto tin foil
Leave to dry


I found that mixing the rice in the bowl was more effective than the plastic bag method.
Using vanilla extract rather than a scented oil seems make the rice dry quickly.
Paste or gel food colouring drys much faster than liquid.

Making the rice and cous cous was such great fun. I could not wait to invite Esther and William to play.

The coloured rice and cous cous, together with some rainbow krispies, were emptied into the Tuff Spot. This mix of materials is going to make the floor of Heaven throughout the rest of the week.

We are going to be talking all week about Baby Tilda up in the sky and this mix is what we are going to start our exploratory play with each day.

Today it was the fairy land floor.

Esther and William did not need to be asked twice to get in the Tuff Spot and start exploring their new play materials. With the rice popping between their toes and crunching beneath their soles they started their sensory play.

They commented on texture, the feel of the rice and corn and the cous cous. They talked about colour and how the different materials looked.

There was lots of touching and feeling. The rice was quite sticky and needed some separating. Then it was possible to pour and sprinkle the rice, and trickle it through your fingers.

Burying toys and toes was great fun.

Filling up the trailer with magic food for the farm animals.

Setting up a magical fairy world using our new Big Jigs railway set. (Review coming soon!)

Making marks with fingers.

Creating tracks with trains.

At one point Esther made a pile of rice and corn and declared that it was a log pile house. She then ran off to get a snake. Of course! If you have read The Gruffalo then you know!

It was lovely to watch Esther and William make piles and bury their toys then find them again. There was lots of careful pile making and swishing and swirling fingers around the Tuff Spot.

They played happily for quite a long time incorporating different toys into their play.

Today I tried not to offer any direction in their play. I wanted it to be a sensory experience for them to discover on their own.

Having the large coloured corns gave Esther and William chance to use their pincer grip as they collected the little rainbow krispies together.

Over the course of the next week we will be creating a fairy world using these pink and purple pulses and grains as the floor. We will be using our Big Jigs Railway and some Happyland sets to create the world where they think Baby Tilda is now. When we talk about Tilda we often look at pictures of fairies as it is easier for them to understand at the moment than angels. So this week through stories, small world play, sensory and messy play we will be creating, exploring and talking about where we think Baby Tilda might be and what she might be doing.

We will be looking at Fairy Heaven and we hope you might come and join us.

Please link up your Pink and Purple Messy Play here x

18 thoughts on “Messy Play for Matilda Mae: Pink and Purple

  1. Cook the rice on low for about an hour or two. The grains dry out nicely and the colour adheres well to it, although you will need to add more colour half way through as it does fade.

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  3. I have made scented, rainbow rice before (we had vanilla, strawberry, orange etc) but I like the idea of cous-cous too to add a variety of texture!

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  5. This looks fun and colourful! A great idea to include baby Tilda as fairy in heaven for them too. I love all the wooden toys to match the colour theme and the plates/trays you had the rice on to dry look great too! x

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  7. What a lovely idea and such a relevant way for you to help the twins understand more about their sister. I know that messy play means a lot to you and I think this is testament to your theory regarding messy/ sensory play for therapy. Fab. I still have rainbow rice that I made Xmas eve to put in luka’s new sand tray, I used paste colour and it hasn’t faded at all. I may be wrong but I’m sure I read cooked rice doesn’t keep as well.
    Ps will be linking mine up asap xx

  8. This looks like great fun! The rainbow krispies were a blast from the past too – havent seen them in years! Didn’t realise there was a theme this week, so I haven’t linked up xx

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