How to make Rainbow Rice

While going through some old posts I realized we have never shared a simple tutorial on how to make rainbow rice.  We have shared how to make it within other activity posts, but this is such a staple play recipe that it really should have it's very own post.

How to make Rainbow Rice
How to make beautifully vibrant rainbow rice {No alcohol or vinegar needed}
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for arts, crafts, & sensory play

Rainbow rice is wonderful for sensory play.  It is colorful, makes a fun noise when poured, is great for fine motor development, and even has calming benefits.  It is also great for use in arts and crafts.

Rainbow Rice Materials List
  • Rice (we buy 10 pound bags at Walmart for under $8)
  • Food coloring or liquid watercolors
  • Zip seal bags
  • Water
  • Optional- add a fun scent to your rice by using kool-aid, Duncan Hines Frosting Powders, spices, or extracts 
Making rice for play is so easy.  All you need to do is place the desired amount of rice into a bag.  To make rainbow rice you will want to fill 6 bags with the desired rice amounts.  Add several drops of food coloring or water colors to each bag along with a touch of water.  The water just helps spread the coloring onto the rice.  You want to add enough but not too much.  The idea is to have minimal water left over in the bag once the rice is saturated in color.

How to make rice for sensory play

From here you can either let the rice varieties dry right in the bag or lay them out on baking sheets or similar to dry.  If you leave them in the bag to dry just be sure to leave the bags open.  That's it!  In roughly 4-6 hours your rice will be ready for play

How to make rainbow rice

How to make rainbow rice

If you want to add scent to your rice just add the kool-aid, frosting powder, extract, or spice  to the zip seal bags along with all the other ingredients when mixing.  One of my favorite rice varieties we have made was our cotton candy rainbow rice.  To make that I just used one Duncan Hines Cotton Candy Frosting Powder packet and sprinkled a tiny amount into each zip seal bag.  Almost a year later and we still have this rice.  It still smells amazing, too!

How to mak cotton candy rainbow rice for fabulous sensory play

Give kids scoopers, buckets, shovels and kitchen gadgets, and they will have a blast.  As they scoop and pour the rice, it will  make a calming sound.  It is great for fine motor and can be used in lots of other activities.  

(Photo from our Summer rice collection)

Here are a couple of the ways we have used our rainbow rice:
Use as the base of sensory bins like we did with our New Years Eve Party Bin
Use it in other fun sensory activities like we did when we made freezy ice cream dough

Rainbow Rice for fabulous play
How to make beautifully colored and scented rice- this method is so easy & you don't even need rubbing alcohol!

Other Rice Varieties we have made:
captures all the colors and aromas of Fall

captures all the best scents of the season in beautiful colors

one of my girls favorites

Great for opening up the airways when kids are stuffy

for Valentine's Day

Visit our play recipes collection for TONS more FUN!
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