How to Make Colored Rice for Sensory Play

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Rainbow Rice! Is there anything better! If you are looking for how to make colored rice for sensory play you have come to the right place. Here is my fool proof recipe for the most vibrant rainbow rice for sensory play!

How to Make Colored Rice for Sensory Play

Rainbow Rice

Are you ready to blow your toddler’s mind?! I still remember the day my daughter first played with colored rice. I had never seen her so engaged in play for so long. She was 14 months and she remained immersed in play for nearly 30 minutes?!? I was with her playing the entire time which helped but after seeing how much fun sensory rice play was I has hooked to sensory play and you will be too.

How to Make Colored Rice for Sensory Play

If you are looking for sensory bin ideas and ways to use your colored rice, check out these sensory bin ideas here. I also wrote a book of sensory bins called Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids. Find out more below.

And check out my short form crafting series Curious Crafting on TVOkids and TVOkids YouTube! Watch all the episodes here. Look for season 2 coming in the new year!

Supplies for Colored Rice

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  • 1 Cup of White Rice
  • 1/2 tsp White Vinegar
  • Several Drops of Gel Food Coloring
  • Large Ziploc Bags
  • Parchment Paper
  • Baking Sheets or Tupperware containers
How to Make Colored Rice for Sensory Play

How to Make Colored Rice

  1. Combine the rice, white vinegar and food coloring in a Ziploc bag. 
  2. Seal it carefully and mix the contents throughly. 
  3. Repeat for each color.
  4. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet or line a Tupperware container. 
  5. Spread the colored rice out on the parchment paper and allow it to dry overnight. 
How to Make Colored Rice for Sensory Play

How to Make Colored Rice: Troubleshooting

If you don’t have gel food coloring, regular food coloring will work fine. If you want your rice to be more vibrant add more than just a few drops of food coloring and a small amount of white vinegar. Although the instructions calls for 1 cup of rice I usually make between 6-7 cups of rice for a sensory bin. 

How to Make Colored Rice for Sensory Play

How to Store Colored Rice

Store your rainbow rice in an airtight container such as a ziplock bag. If you store your rice correctly (in an airtight container and in a dry area), your rainbow rice will last for years. Before each use double check to see if any mold has started to grow. If you detect mold, throw away all your rice. I made a huge batch of rainbow rice in 2016 and I only threw it away in 2020.

Fun Ways to Play with Colored Rice

Here are some fun way to play with your colored rice:

Fun Ways to Craft with Colored Rice

Here are some fun way to make crafts with your colored rice:

Mess Level

This is a mess level is low to make.

Difficulty to Create


How to Make Colored Rice for Sensory Play

Skills Developed in Playing with Colored Rice

Sensory play, language development, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, imaginative play, creativity.

Check out My Books, TV Show & Play Kits!

Book: Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids

How to Make Colored Rice for Sensory Play

Did you know I wrote a book of sensory bins? Click here for more information Exciting Sensory Bin for Curious Kids. Or grab your copy at Amazon. I have tons of other sensory play recipes inside and ways to play with colored rice inside the book.

Boring afternoons are made exciting with awesome animal-based bins, like Salty Shark Bay or Yarn Farm. Pretend play bins like Birthday Cake Sensory Play or Bubble Tea Party encourage creativity and imagination. And your kids will have so much fun they won’t even know they’re getting smarter with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities like Sink or Float Soup, Magnetic Letter Hunt or Ice Cream Scoop and Count.

Book: Super STEAM Activity Book for Kids

Learning all about science, technology, engineering, art, and math sets kids up for scholastic success―and it can be so much fun! Watch kids enjoy building STEAM skills as they color friendly fish, help water find its way to tree roots, solve math problems with mazes, and more. 

Find out more and grab your copy here.

Book: Big Book of Riddles for Kids – coming out September 27, 2022

Book: STEAM Crafts for Kids – coming out November 29, 2022

TV Show: Curious Crafting

I’m so excited to share my new crafting TV show Curious Crafting which launched July 1 at on TVOkids and TVOkids YouTube!

This show is all about fun and easy crafts for toddlers and preschoolers. 

Set in the ultimate crafting space, Curious Crafting is a short form pre-school age series about the joy of making crafts. I lead a rotating cast of adorable little preschoolers (including my own) making magic out of common household objects.

In each episode we transform recycled items into magical crafts like a milk carton school bus, paper bag puppet or cotton pad turtle. The crafters learn and laugh their way through each activity while demonstrating what their young imaginations can create. 

Curious Crafting shares the adventure and joy of making art with takeaway lessons for creating crafts at home.

The Best Sensory Play Kits for Kids

Play is at the core of learning during the early years and it can take many forms. One of the most important of these is sensory play because it engages all of a child’s senses (taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing) and has a enoumous positive impact on brain development.

Our Sensory Play Kits are some fun and easy ways to keep your child engaged while at the same time using sensory play to nurture their mind!

Shop our ready made play kits here.

How to Make Colored Rice for Sensory Play


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