Colored rice is an excellent medium to add some excitement to your child’s learning experience. You can use dyed rice to make sensory bins, rice tables, or even as a fun teaching tool. The possibilities are endless.
The best part is that it’s easy for you to do! Oh, and did I mention that it’s cheap 😉.
Continue to read through this post for step-by-step instructions on how to make colorful rice for hours of extraordinary learning and playing.
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How to Use Colored Rice for Sensory Play
One of the most obvious ways to use colored rice with your children is using the rice as a tool for sensory play.
Place the colored rice in a sensory bin (any large bin or container you have), sensory table, bottle, or tray, and allow your children to play with the rice.
One of my favorite ways for my children to play with the rice is to make sensory bins related to our homeschool lessons.
I recently created blue rice sensory bins during our ocean exploration lessons, and I purchased ocean animal figures as an added learning tool for our sensory bins.
This is an easy and fun activity you can put together for your children, and I can guarantee that your children will love it.
Use Colored Rice for Art Projects
Your children can use colorful rice to make beautiful pieces of art they will be proud of.
For different holidays, my children like to use colored rice to make holiday-themed art.
Colored rice is also a beautiful tool for kids to add texture and dimension to their artwork.
You can use it the same way you would use glitter.
Just remember to use sturdy cardstock paper, as the rice is a bit heavier than glitter. Cardboard will also work well.
In the photo below, my children used green and blue colored rice to create a beautiful model of planet Earth for Earth Day.
Colored rice can transform the simplest piece of art into something extraordinary, and children really enjoy working with the rice.
Use Colored Rice as a Math Manipulative
My six-year-old recently asked me why the letters “lb” are on so many product labels. That simple question led us to use our colored rice for a fun measurement, volume, and weight lesson.
This is an exciting way to introduce your children to measuring and weighing by having them weigh different amounts of the rice.
Practical Life Skills, Exercise, and Pretend Play
Have your children pour their colored rice through funnels, use scoops to transfer rice between containers, or pour rice from one cup to another.
Your children will not need much direction when playing with this rice. You only need to provide the supplies and watch their imaginations soar.
My boys enjoy using their dump trucks to dig craters and ditches in the sensory bins, and my daughter loves to make red hearts and rainbows.
Colored Rice Ingredients
To make colored rice, you only need a few ingredients and supplies:
- White Rice
- Liquid Food Coloring
- Rubbing Alcohol (which aids in the drying process)
- Airtight Container with a lid or a Ziploc bag
How to Make Colored Rice
Step 1: Place 2 cups of rice into a Ziploc bag or container with an airtight seal.
Step 2: Add two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol aids the rice in drying quickly so that the food coloring properly adheres to the rice and does not transfer to clothing and hands.
Step 3: Add 6-8 drops of food coloring for a more intense coloring effect. The more food coloring you add, the more intense the color will be.
Step 4: Seal the container or Ziplock bag and shake all ingredients vigorously until rice is well coated in your desired color.
Step 5: Allow the rice to dry completely before using by placing it on parchment paper or aluminum foil.
*Continue to the end of this post for printable step-by-step instructions.
How to Store Colored Rice
First, make sure the rice is thoroughly dried before you store it. Any moisture can cause the rice to mildew and the colors to run.
Second, store the rice in an airtight container. A Mason jar or Ziplock bag will work perfectly. And finally, keep the rice out of direct sunlight. Sunlight will cause the colors to fade over time.
With proper storage, your dyed rice will keep its color for months.
- 2 cups white rice
- 2 tablespoons rubbing alchohol
- Liquid food coloring of your choice
- Airtight container with lid or Ziploc bag
1. Place 2 cups of rice into a Ziploc bag or container with an airtight seal.
2. Add two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol aids the rice in drying quickly so that the food coloring properly adheres to the rice and does not transfer to clothing and hands.
3. Add 6-8 drops of food coloring for a more intense coloring effect. The more food coloring you add, the more intense the color will be.
4. Seal the container or Ziplock bag and shake all ingredients vigorously until rice is well coated in your desired color.
5. Allow the rice to dry completely before using by placing it on parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Scale the recipe to create more rice if you need to.
Making your colored rice using this process is so easy that even your young children can do it with your supervision.
It is easy, and the results are a vibrant and beautiful educational activity for your kids.
Whether you’re a mom, teacher, grandparent, or daycare provider, this sensory play activity is perfect for you to do with your young learners, and they’ll enjoy it immensely.
Get creative with colors, and let your kids have some fun with this easy-peasy sensory rice activity.