Guardian Childcare & Education

Preschoolers at Guardian Tempe Explore Human Emotions with Rice Experiment

7th January 2020

rice experiment exploring emotions

After hearing some of the preschool children using negative language, the team at Guardian Tempe decided to organise an experiment exploring how human emotions affects water and organic substances.

Centre Manager, Jilly-Anne, shares details of the project and the team’s findings so far.

“We were inspired to conduct the experiment after witnessing some of the preschool children use negative language amongst one another,” explains Jilly-Anne.

“They were expressing their emotions by using the word ‘hate’, and it was having an impact on their friends. While some children find it difficult to articulate their feelings, we wanted to conduct the experiment so it can be a visual representation of how negative talk makes others feel.”

child speaking to jar as part of experiment

The experiment uses rice and water set up in three separate jars, with instructions to love, hate or ignore each jar accordingly. 

“Every day, we have the children approach each jar one by one and act according to the label. For example, a child will go up to the love jar and say ‘I love you’, then to the hate jar ‘I hate you and with the ignore jar, they don’t say acknowledge it before walking away,” shares Jilly-Anne.

“The children will this for 30 days and by the end of the experiment they will be able to see how each jar has been affected by its treatment. In theory, the love jar will not be so affected, the hate jar will have some mould and the ignore jar will be in the worst condition.”

child expressing emotions as part of experiment

Jilly-Anne and the team have had numerous conversations with the preschoolers around negative talk, where they encourage they children to respectfully express their thoughts and feelings.

“We always encourage open communication and for the children to talk to their friends when something is making them unhappy,” says Jilly-Anne.

“We’ve also done a few group experiences where the preschoolers participated in role play. We gave them some scenarios and encouraged the children to express the different ways they would respond to each situation.”

Since the experiment began, several parents have shared that they’ve seen a change in the way their children are speaking at home. The children have become better at communicating and articulating their thoughts and feelings in a positive way.

love, hate and ignore rice and water experiment

It’s been amazing to watch how quickly the children adapted to this experiment and implemented positive articulation towards their peers and using positive language and respect,” shares Jilly-Anne. 

“It just shows how children really do soak everything in and use what they learn and adapt that into their world.”

As the children have responded positively to the experiment and are enjoying using the jars, the team are considering having them set up in the Centre permanently. This way, the children will have an outlet to vent to when they are feeling frustrated, upset or angry, that can also be utilised during their daily ‘how we feel today’ sessions.

Jilly-Anne and the team look forward to helping the children further develop their empathy and communication skills.

Top Recent Articles

Children playing with toys inside and educator Lilyfield

More Days in Childcare can be Better for your Child

indoor resources at your childcare centre

Indoor Play: Why Resources at your Childcare Centre are Important

Children interacting with chickens at Guardian Market Street Queens view

Outdoor Play: Why Resources at your Childcare Centre are Important

Children playing with music instruments and educator at Lilyfield

Tips for Choosing the Best Childcare for Your Child

Children washing strawberry and carrot at Guardian Blackburn

Tips to get your Child Eating Veggies



  • February 2021 (3)
  • January 2021 (3)
  • 2020

  • December 2020 (6)
  • November 2020 (11)
  • October 2020 (6)
  • September 2020 (6)
  • July 2020 (12)
  • June 2020 (1)
  • May 2020 (10)
  • April 2020 (22)
  • March 2020 (22)
  • February 2020 (19)
  • January 2020 (19)
  • 2019

  • December 2019 (21)
  • November 2019 (17)
  • October 2019 (26)
  • September 2019 (32)
  • August 2019 (37)
  • July 2019 (26)
  • June 2019 (10)
  • May 2019 (1)
  • January 2019 (1)
  • 2018

  • December 2018 (2)
  • November 2018 (3)
  • October 2018 (4)
  • September 2018 (6)
  • August 2018 (4)
  • July 2018 (9)
  • June 2018 (9)
  • May 2018 (7)
  • April 2018 (6)
  • March 2018 (8)
  • February 2018 (6)
  • January 2018 (9)
  • 2017

  • December 2017 (10)
  • November 2017 (13)
  • October 2017 (10)
  • September 2017 (13)
  • August 2017 (15)
  • July 2017 (14)
  • June 2017 (14)
  • May 2017 (23)
  • April 2017 (17)
  • March 2017 (28)
  • February 2017 (21)
  • January 2017 (5)
  • 2016

  • December 2016 (4)
  • June 2016 (1)
  • May 2016 (1)
  • March 2016 (2)
  • February 2016 (2)
  • January 2016 (1)
  • 2015

  • July 2015 (1)
  • Looking for the right Childcare Centre for your Family?

    Submit your details and a member of our Concierge Team will be in touch to discuss what you need and how we can help you experience something more than childcare.

    We'll be in touch soon.


    *Mandatory Fields

    You May Also Want to Read This

    learning experiences inspired by children's questions

    6th March 2020

    Learning Experiences Curated Around Children’s Questions

    child holding bug in ar app

    27th April 2020

    Children at Guardian Tempe Use Interactive Book and AR App to Explore Bugs

    Larry Brady, Indigenous Storyteller

    26th September 2019

    Guardian Forrest Host Indigneous Storyteller at Centre