• Sarah Dann

Dancing Rice

Updated: May 30, 2020

Hello all you lovely people! The support I am getting from you all, is absolutely incredible! Thank you! Please do share your pictures of activities that you do on my Facebook group or Instagram. I LOVE seeing them all, and they really drive me to keep going!



Right, now lets get on to todays activity!

There is a brilliant video of what looks like a lava lamp in a glass that you may of seen. It uses vegetable oil, water, food coloring and an alka seltzer tablet.

This is a great experiment if you have an alka seltzer, but what if you don't? What are two other fabulous science activities to do at home to spark those little inquisitive minds?

Well what about getting Rice and Raisins to dance?!… This is truly fascinating to see.

How it works is the carbon dioxide attaches itself to the rough surface of the raisin or rice, when enough bubbles are attached, the raisin or rice rises to the top. Then bubbles pop, the CO2 is released, so the rice/raisin is once again heavier then the water, so then sinks to the bottom.

What are the benefits of this activity?

Carrying out science experiments at home are hugely beneficial for child development in many areas:

  1. Your child can learn to predict what they think will happen to the rice/raisins.

  2. Develops language and senses, by talking about what they see, hear, smell and discover. Let the child feel each of the ingredients and ask them what they think they feel like.

  3. Develops observational skills: Children can identify changes and differences, such as changes in speed of the rice.

  4. Carrying out science experiments encourages children to ask lots of fantastic questions.

  5. Children can learn to experiment with the order of steps to carry out the experiment. What happens if you put the vinegar in first?

  6. Problem Solving: For example, how can we make the rice dance more? Will we add more vinegar or baking soda? Exploring cause and effect and chain reactions.

  7. My favorite of all, this will help develop a curious mind.

What you need for this activity:

  • Glass 3/4 full with water

  • White vinegar

  • Food Coloring

  • Uncooked Rice ( I read that instant rice is needed for this, but I'm a great believer in using what you have, and I used brown rice. This was not too heavy to dance, as you will see from video below)

  • Baking Soda

  • Measuring cup

  • Measuring spoons


Fill your glass 3/4 full of water.

Add 1 tsp of Baking soda and stir well.

You can either add your food coloring now or whilst the experiment is happening. I added whilst the rice was dancing as I wanted to see what the rice looked like just in plain water first.

Next, add 1/4 cup of rice.

Follow this by adding 2 tbsp. of vinegar.

Watch as the rice starts to dance.

You can now add the food coloring if you have not already.

Experiment with adding more vinegar to see the rice dance faster! What happens when you add more baking soda? Could you try with pasta? Can you get that to dance? Ask your child for ideas what they might like to try!

** Want another Super Cool Science Experiment?**

Try using sparkling water and raisins!

Simply add raisins to a glass of sparkling water and watch the raisins dance away! Who knew?!

Happy Experimenting!

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