How to make colored rice for sensory play

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So many people have wondered what this craze with colored rice is all about! Let me try and explain as we love it!

Rice makes the perfect indoor sensory box, sensory tray, open-ended tray, invitation to play theme base. Rice is so easy to color and therefore can be used to create grass, sky, rainbows, farms, beaches, forests…

It is also super easy to clean up! If the rice goes everywhere you simply vacuum it up. It is dry, it does not stick, and honestly so much easier than kinetic sand or play dough… even though we LOVE play dough!

How to make colored rice for sensory play

How to make colored rice

You need rice, food coloring and alcohol.

Some people like to do this in a zip-lock bag, I prefer to use a glass bowl and a spoon. Works just as well!

To dry the rice, a tray and baking paper.

TIP: You can do without the alcohol, your rice will just end up darker.

3 easy steps!

First add your rice to the bowl. We usually make about 500g at one time.

Then add some alcohol, about 1 TBSP for this amount of rice.

Add your food coloring to achieve your desired color. Food coloring and strength vary, so add a little at a time.

Give it all a good stir!

When your rice is mixed and colored, tip it onto a baking sheet covered with baking paper and spread it out into a thin layer – this helps it to dry fast. The alcohol will evaporate now – don’t worry about the smell!

I usually do this at night and in the morning the rice is completely dry!

If you want to make a few colors, make them separately and let them dry first before mixing them up.

You can add essential oils to scent the rice! It gives the play an additional dimension!

We made a mix of browns and greens to go into this little dinosaur tray play below.

Super easy and really fun to play with!

Looking for more homemade play and craft recipes? Here are the ones we love…

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