Making colored rice for sensory bins is so easy! Your child will love all the colors and have a blast playing with it.
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As a mom of two toddlers, I’m always on the look out for easy ways to keep them entertained without screen time. Sensory bins have been my go-to lately.
We had a lot of fun doing kinetic sand but I thought it was time to switch up our bins with some colored rice. I never knew how easy it was to dye rice and my kids were thrilled with it. The colors also look great all mixed together.
To make colored rice, you will need:
- Rice: You’ll need white rice. One cup per color you want to make.
- Food coloring: You’ll need regular food coloring, not gel food coloring. I used a rainbow set from Amazon.
- Vinegar: You’ll need one tablespoon of white vinegar.
How to dye rice for sensory bins
There are printable instructions further down in this post!
To dye rice, you will need to measure out one cup of rice. I used a large plastic storage bag.
Next, add one tablespoon of vinegar. Add the food coloring (I used about 10 drops) and stir well.
Spread out to dry. I used a tupperware container that had been lined with wax paper.
Let the mixture dry for 2 to 3 hours then it will be good to play with. Mine took about 2 ½ hours to dry but I live in a very humid climate.
Dye your rice red and green for Christmas or pink for Valentine’s Day themed sensory bins. You could also use your child’s favorite colors.
Use the rice to practice writing numbers or letters with your fingers.
Dying rice brown or black is great for construction themed sensory bins.
We used these measuring cups that actually represent the measurements. I think they are really cool for learning.
What if my rice won’t dry?
If your rice hasn’t dried, you can either let it air dry longer. You may have accidentally put too much vinegar in it. Give it another day to dry. If you live in a very humid environment it may also take longer to dry.
Will it stain hands?
No, once the rice is dry it will not stain hands. Test dryness with a paper towel before
How to store
Once dry, store your sensory bin rice in an airtight container. It will be good to use for a year or longer.
I used an extra large tupperware container to store ours.
- Set wax paper or parchment paper down when drying the rice. This will help prevent the food coloring from staining your tray.
- Use a paper towel to test if the rice is dry. If it comes off clean then your rice is ready to be played with.
- This is a great activity to prep the night before. Let the rice dry overnight.
Other fun crafts and activities
- How to make color changing play dough
- How to make rainbow spaghetti
- How to make unbreakable bubbles
- How to make snow dough
- How to dye pasta for sensory bins
How to Make Colored Rice for Sensory Bins
- Plastic storage bags
- 1 cup white rice
- food coloring
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- To dye rice, you will need to measure out one cup of rice. I used plastic storage bags but you can also use any bowls that you don't mind staining.
- Next, add one tablespoon of vinegar. Add the food coloring (I used about 10 drops) and stir well.
- Spread out on a tray to dry. I used a tupperware container lined with wax paper.
- Let the mixture dry for 2 to 3 hours then it will be good to play with. Mine took about 3 hours to dry but I live in a very humid climate.
- Repeat to do multiple colors in separate bowls.
Definitely using this for my daughter and her sensory bins!
Forever My Little Moon
I need to try doing this, look so easy and fun for kids!
Pemberley and Pine
I love sensory bins. I have two kids with sensory issues, and I love new sensory ideas. ❤️
So fun! Do you find that the rice stains hands or clothes?
Two Pink Peonies
Once it is dry it will not stain, you can test it with a paper towel to make sure it is dry.
I can’t wait to try this with some of my daughters sensory bins!
I have never tried coloring rice for sensory play. I have to try this for my 4-year-old daughter!
This is such a wonderful activity for little kids.