We went to our local child’s museum a few months ago, where they had a nice rice table. My baby boy ate a handful of rice there and we were all sick for three weeks after that incident! So I knew that eventually I had to make my own rice sandbox (or rice table) -whatever the name is.
The project of making this rice table only took me ten minutes. If you attempt to do this at home, the clean up can take hours if you have kids under three. To make clean up easy, spread a shower curtain or a vinyl tablecloth under the table with the rice box on it.
Buy a large wide, but not deep plastic storage box. Think about little hands reaching in: if the box is deeper than 7-10 inches, the project would not be that much fun for them. Buy a large bag of rice. Oriental groceries or discount places on the internet are good sources :you want cheap rice, not superhealthy rice. Set aside the amount of rice to fill 1/3 of the box. Any more than that and everything would be on the floor.
Separate the rice into 4 ziplock bags. Add a teaspoon of food coloring to each bag, seal it hermetically and ask your child to shake the bag ( under your supervision) in order to distribute the color through the rice.
Put the colored rice in the box in stripes. Add shovels, spoons, buckets, plastic cups, trucks :anything you want. Step aside and let the kids play!