Making Colored Rice For Sensory Play

Colored rice is a great sensory activity, here’s why I think so:
1. It is SUPER easy to make.
2. Inexpensive
3. Appropriate for a wide range of ages.
4. It covers a lot of senses, touch, sight, put it in containers to shake and hear.
5. You can reuse it for art projects too.
6. Short list of ingredients.
7. It’s fun!

Here is what you will need:


  • Tablespoon measuring spoon
  • Pan and parchment or wax paper for drying
  • Baggies for mixing
  • White Vinegar (1 tbs per cup of rice)
  • Food Coloring
  • Rice

Here’s all you have to do:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with about 20 drops of food coloring into a baggy.DSC_0016.JPG
  2. Add 1 cup of rice.DSC_0017.JPG
  3. Mix it around so that all of the rice gets color on it.
  4. Spread it out on the pan.DSC_0018
  5. Stick it in the sun to dry. Every 5-10 minutes spread it around and break up any clumps. (You can also just dry it in your house, but it will take longer. I am sure a low temp. oven would work too, just didn’t try that myself.)

I mixed one color at a time simply because I don’t own a ton of pans, and I wasn’t in a hurry. Little man enjoyed helping mix the bags.

Having a variety of colors to explore with makes it even more fun! We mixed red (which came out more bright pink), yellow, green, blue and purple.




Helpful tips:

  1. Be sure the rice has dried completely before storing it.
  2. Storing the rice in containers with lids ensures moisture won’t get in, and they are also fun to shake around.
  3. Get a large container with a lid for playing in that can double as storage. (The ones I picked up I got at the grocery store, it was reasonable for a two pack)
  4. You can mix more rice of each color, just adjust the amount of vinegar, amount of dye and size of your baggy.


The best part about it was watching little man’s delight at feeling the rice and mixing the colors. I am big into just letting him explore and figure things out on his own so, I just let him go at it whatever way he wanted. He preferred using his hands to put each color in individually, then mixing them. He also preferred playing with the empty containers. Playing outside made cleaning up even easier.





When we shook it all together at the end, the result was pretty cool looking. All the rice is stored away in the same container we used to play in for the next time. We did not spend time to sort the colors back. HA.HA.



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