Learn how to make colored rice for sensory play – it’s easy, and less messy than the coarsely ground flour that we sometimes use for taste safe sensory play.
Some links on this site are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Click on the images and blue text to be taken to links. Thank you! Learn more.
The rice that I used for this post was originally intended for I Spy jars for my kids. I made the jars, but they were not happy (to put it lightly) to discover that I intended to keep the small animals I had put in the jars in there permanently. So we removed the small plastic animals, built a habitat for them instead, and decided to create a different use for the rice. But, I’m getting ahead of myself! Here is how we made colored rice in the first place:
How to Make DIY Colored Rice for Art Projects and Sensory Play
We divided the rice into four plastic jars (yes, we like Nutella in this house!):
Note: You can substitute vinegar for Purell if you prefer. It will still set the dye.
The kids admired the resulting colors as we waited for it to dry:
Then we left them to dry overnight:
Rice set with Purell dries very quickly. If you substitute vinegar, you may need to spread it out on a tray to dry overnight.
The colored rice was ready for an “art project” the next day. I say “project” because this consisted of Johnny making a Big Mess while Emma carefully glued one grain of rice at a time onto her piece of paper. If I were to do this particular project again, I would have the kids use liquid glue bottles instead of glue sticks – the grains of rice stuck to the glue sticks too easily.
Fun things to do with Colored Rice
We have a LOT of rice left, so if you have other activities we can use this for, I’d love to hear! Here are some activities I have come up with so far:
- I plan to let Emma make a colored rice layer jar, and then….
- Use the mixed-together rice for sensory play.
- Make temporary rice art.
- Put together that I Spy bottle I was planning to make in the first place!
Have you tried making your own colored rice before? What did you do with it after you made it?
Share comments and feedback below, on my Facebook page, or by tagging me on Instagram. Sign up for my newsletter to receive book recommendations, crafts, activities, and parenting tips in your inbox every week.