How to Make Color Rice for Sensory Play

I have seen sensory tubs popping up here and there and thought it a good idea for the boys. One day one appeared in my G+ news feed. It was the most beautiful blue and I couldn’t help but wonder if I could get that color!

It turns out that making color rice is easy!!

how to make color rice for sensory play


  • 1 tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1 cup Rice
  • a few drops food coloring


Rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon of vinegar per cup of rice and however much food coloring you need for the shade you desire. I made 4 cups of color rice.

I made them in zip lock bags, poured the vinegar and coloring in, added the cup of rice and shook (zipped closed) and swooshed to get the colored vinegar everywhere.

Then brought out the wax paper and placed on top of some trays to let it dry. It took about an hour.

UpdateHow to Neutralize the Vinegar Smell when Coloring Rice or Pasta.

I then let the boys at the color rice!

In the corner on the foam mat where there would be minimum messing! We started out with one color each, then switched to another. They loved exploring and my very sensory 2 year old ran the grains through his hands many times inspecting them.

I brought out the cups, funnel and other containers. The rice then got mixed into rainbow rice for measuring and pouring. I let them do the mixing themselves and both boys were very interested in the mixing of the colors.color rice sensory play

There was minimum sweeping when we were done as we confined to the corner.

Next time we will make even MORE color rice then get the little cars and farm animals out!

Need more awesome Ideas for your RICE PLAY?

rice play ebook - 25 play and learn ideas!

My color rice ebook is an amazing resource with over 25 activity and craft ideas for toddlers featuring great photos, easy to follow instructions, a NO-FAIL color rice recipe PLUS each idea can easily be done at home! Click here to see more and download!

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How to make color rice on the cheap with #toddler

Check out the things we have done with Rainbow Color Rice so far!

Nicolette Roux
Hi I'm Nicolette, a SAHM to 4 little ones age 6 and under. I love to share my simple and easy crafts & activities, printables and learning ideas for baby, toddler and preschoolers! Author of: Rice Play and 99 Fine Motor ideas for Ages 1-5. Follow me by email!
Nicolette Roux
Nicolette Roux

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    • says

      i do this with spaghetti rice pasta! You cook it as normal then use a bit of colored vinegar (same as dry) except you don’t leave it to dry instead you rinse off the extra coloring (no staining hands!) the kids usually play with the items just as is.Remember this does not store well. you might get 2 days out of it.

  1. Merle charles says

    Looks awesome I was just about to colour some rice.but wasn’t quite sure if I had to boil the rice first. So I thought why not Google. And there it was.thanks a bundle.

  2. Ali says

    Found this activity and made colored rice for my 4-year-old campers! Just wondering what color combination you used for such a vibrant pink. Thanks!

      • Lavanya says

        Help! I need the exact pink that you have? Can u Pls share what brand of food color u used and where can I get it? This is a project for my temple that I need it for! Thank You! Lavanya

  3. Dez says

    Does the color come off the rice at all, did it stain their hands at all when they played with it? I would love to try this it looks great and like a lot of fun :)

  4. says

    My niece loved rice for sensory play when she was younger, particularly pouring it from one item to another. We never thought of coloring it, though! Way too cool!

  5. says

    The colored rice looks amazing, I love the texture and the kids must, too! I’ve been following you on Hellocotton, which is closing tomorrow. So now I’m following you with Bloglovin, G+ and FB, hope you could return the favor :)


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