This is the best and easiest way to dye rice for sensory play, taking just minutes to prepare and using no vinegar or alcohol hand gel! This method creates the most vibrant and amazingly coloured rice that will last for years when stored correctly. Let’s make it!
This is the easiest way to dye rice for sensory play (ever!)
zip loc bags
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Divide the rice into the zip loc bags, using one bag per colour that you want to make. We added orange and hot pink later on after making these too.
Squeeze in a large dollop of paint, press the air out of the bag then zip the lock tight.
The next step is the most fun and the kids love to do this themselves! Simply squish and shake the rice all around inside the bag using your hands to make sure the paint is evenly dispersed.
Once it is fully coated, simply tip each colour out onto a tray or shallow dish and leave to dry. Depending on how well spread out it is, it can be dry in as quickly as half an hour!
- Tip: you can add a few drops of essential oil at this point to make the rice smell wonderful too!
We’ve made wonderfully calming lavender rice and delicious apple cinnamon too in the past!
The colours are intense and vibrant, the paint doesn’t come off on your fingers and it dries really effectively without the need for any vinegar or alcohol hand gel to fix it. What’s even better is that, if kept dry, it will last for ever!
Wowsers, just look how beautiful and vibrant those colours are! I really enjoyed taking photos of this rainbow rice as you can probably tell 🙂
Once the rice was all dry and ready to play with, the kids couldn’t wait to mix it up. I think this rainbow rice looks particularly gorgeous when all mixed together, so they tipped them all into a large sensory play tub and started to stir it with spoons!
We added some trays, muffin tins and clear plastic bottles (empty sprinkles bottles) and they played their favourite imaginative play game of sweet shops and bakeries, serving up rainbow treats and baking them for customers!
My eldest fetched the scales too and wanted to find out how much one large jar of the rainbow rice would weigh. She then filled lots of the smaller sprinkles jars until she’d managed to get each one to weigh the same amount, then told me how many of those she would need to fill the large jar full. It took quite a few attempts and lots of problem solving to get it right. Proof that you can get great maths learning in action through self-initiated play, even at year 3 (age 8) level! Hooray for play and all it’s possibilities.
When the play is over, simply store the rice in a jam jar or large zip loc bag and keep it in a dry place. As long as it is stored like this it will last for ever and can be reused many times over the years!
This method really is the easiest ever way to dye rice for sensory play and SO quick to make. It’s a great idea for giving as a DIY gift to a child and is a best seller at school fair fundraisers too!
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You will most probably LOVE to browse our other SENSORY RICE ideas too.
And our full SENSORY PLAY ARCHIVES are full to bursting with a wide range of engaging ideas!
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Elisa Beck says
No affiliate links. Is this regular washable tempera paint?
I just discovered your blog while looking for new ideas for keeping my two-year-old busy during the day. I really like the site and will be returning frequently to get more ideas. Have a wonderful day! Thank you!
Ruth Abbott says
I’m having problems getting my rice super vibrant! is it just a case of adding more paint? Mine is almost dry when it comes out the bag which is great for quick play but I need to make 15kg of the stuff for a weekend event and want it to really pop. Many thanks I really appreciate the instructions. Ruth x
Anna Ranson says
I think it must be! I used a good squirt and then added more to make it the vibrancy I wanted. It’s very simple but worth experimenting with perhaps. Good luck!