Pirates are always after gold and so what pirate party would be complete without a little gold digging? This was such a hit at the last party I threw that I left it set up for my kids for a week after. All my kids aged up to 10 would play with it, even the friends who came over HAD to touch, and dig and just run their hands through the rice. Its such a simple game to set up and if you use toy coins can be played over and over and over.
To set it up simply fill a large box or container with rice and bury a bunch of gold or treasure in it. Provide shovels (or in my case spoons) for digging and let the kids loose! We provided little bags to hold the loot and once each child had found 6 coins they couldn’t collect any more to make sure everyone got a fair share. I always make sure there are extra things buried so the game can keep going and as an insurance policy.
It does get messy when kids get excited and the rice goes flying so playing outside is recommended. If you play inside try and keep it on tiles or set up a paddling pool and keep the container in that to contain the mess. You can always use a sand pit if you have one or anything else the kids can dig in. I used a mix of plain rice and coloured rice because as my 4 year old told me, sand isn’t just one colour!
To make your own coloured rice you only need a few supplies – rice, food colouring and white vinegar.
Use 1/3 the amount of vinegar to rice, so for 1 cup of rice you will use 1/3 cup of vinegar.
Simply add the food colouring to the vinegar, as much or little as you want, and mix.
Add your rice in and stir until all the rice is coloured. All the rice should be submerged in the vinegar mix to ensure it gets coloured. I use a big bowl to soak my rice because I make big batched but you can get kids involved and do it in a ziplock bag letting them mix the rice around in their hands to coat.
Let it soak for a few minutes before draining the vinegar and pouring the rice on a tray lined with paper towel. You can let it dry in the sun which will take anywhere 15min or more depending on the heat and how much rice you are drying. You can also speed up the process by placing the tray in a warm oven. Leave the door partially open so it doesn’t start cooking. Once dry its ready to play with.