How to Dye Rice for the Best Sensory Play

how to dye rice for sensory play

Looking for the best way to dye rice for sensory play with the little ones? This method is easy and only requires three ingredients. Sensory bins are popular with kids right now. There are so many ways to make them and different fillers to use. You can create them for any theme or season. I will show you how to dye rice for sensory play that is affordable and fun.

how to dye rice for sensory play

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Learning how to dye rice will be easy and can be used for a long time. Toddlers, preschoolers and elementary-aged children will enjoy playing with this fun sensory activity. Make sure the little ones are supervised by an adult. You can include your child during the process of coloring the rice but it may get messy. Watch the video below to learn how to dye rice for sensory bins and trays.



  1. First, add three cups of long grain white rice into a gallon size storage bag. Use separate bags if you want to make more colored rice.
  2. Next, add about 5 to 10 drops of food coloring to the storage bag. More food coloring equals darker rice. I think I got a little carried away with the food coloring but it turned out perfect.
  3. Pour a tablespoon of white distilled vinegar in the storage bag. If you use one cup of rice for this sensory activity, only add one teaspoon of vinegar.
  4. Seal the bag properly then shake. Move the rice around until it’s evenly coated with the food coloring.
  5. Spread the colored rice an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet or paper towel. I decided to use both the foil and paper towel. You can also use parchment paper. Let it dry for at least one hour.
  6. Finally, add the colored rice to a tray or bin for a fun sensory activity. I created this black rice for a Halloween sensory tray for the boys.
black rice for Halloween sensory activity for kids

Add small bowls, scoops, toys or tongs to this sensory tray with colored rice. Make something for fall or Halloween with seasonal items. There’s so much you do with this sensory activity. When the kids are finished playing, store the rice in a mason jar, storage bin with lid or gallon size storage bag.

Check out my Pinterest board for more sensory play ideas. You may also enjoy this fall sensory tray with artificial leaves, acorns, apples and pumpkins.

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