How To Make Colored Rice for Sensory Play

Kids love making a mess and exploring new things!

They seem to have the most fun when they are making a mess and we aren’t stressing them about it. Easy sensory bins are perfect for this type of play.

How to make rainbow rice

What are the benefits of rice sensory play?

Sensory play encourages children to use their senses.

In this rainbow rice sensory play activity, kids are using their sense of touch and sight.

You could also add in essential oils to promote their sense of smell.

This colored rice sensory activity also promotes fine motor skills since children are pouring and scooping things.

Sensory activities are unstructured play so children can use their imagination and create and play however they see fit. This is so important for young developing minds.

Also, sensory play for toddlers can help promote language skills when you talk to them about how things feel, look, smell etc.

ingredients to dye colored rice


  • Rice
  • Measuring Cup
  • Vinegar
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Baking Sheet

How to make colored rice with vinegar

This is the method I used because I find that it works best but if you are looking for a colored rice recipe without vinegar scroll down a little.

1.Decide how many colors you are going to make and portion your rice into that many ziploc bags. I put about 1 ½ cups of rice in each bag but if you are wanting to make a bigger batch of rice I suggest doubling that.

2. Add a few drops of your desired food coloring to each bag.

3. Next add ½ teaspoon of white vinegar to each bag. Remember if you used more rice you will have to adjust the amount of vinegar you use.

4. Seal the bags and shake them up until all the rice is colored.

5. Pour the rice on the baking sheet to dry. It should be pretty much dry in about an hour but I left mine for a little bit longer just to make sure.

6. Put it in a bin, add some scoops and cups and let your kids have fun!

Note: I’ve never been able to smell the vinegar after the rice dries so if you are concerned about that, it’s not an issue.

How to make colored rice without vinegar

You can also use rubbing alcohol or water in the place of vinegar.

All you would need to do is follow the steps above but substitute your choice of liquid.

With the water you may need to add more than ½ teaspoon but you can play with it and figure out the right amount.

This easy sensory bin is bound to keep your kids entertained for a while.

This is one of my favorite sensory activities for toddlers because it helps develop motor skills and it can also promote language skills when talking about the colors or what they are doing with the rice.

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