How to dye rice for sensory play in 3 easy steps! No rubbing alcohol, no messy baggies, no waste!
Have you ever seen the Rainbow Rice that we use in our sensory bins? It’s vibrant and gorgeous! You can use it for all kinds of sensory activities, and it’s SO easy to make!
There are lots of tutorials on the net that will show you how to dye rice for play. Many of the recipes out there call for rubbing alcohol to “set” the colour, and most require ziplock bags. Our recipe uses neither, so it’s a little more kid-friendly, and it’s easier on the environment too.
We use vinegar as an alternative to rubbing alcohol, and we use just ONE container when we dye rice in batches. This method is quick and easy, and it’s fun, so grab the kids! They’re going to want to help!
What you’ll need to make your coloured rice:
- inexpensive white rice (1 cup for each colour)
- white vinegar (1/2 tsp for each colour)
- food colouring or icing gels (I use Wilton Icing Gels)
- plastic container with lid (margarine container, ziplock food storage container etc)
- something to dry your rice on i.e. *styrofoam meat trays, baking sheet, pie plate
*when using styrofoam meat trays, sterilize them first by running them through your dishwasher
Easy so far, right? Ready to colour your rice?
How to dye rice in 3 easy steps:
1. Pour one cup of rice into a container.
2. Add some food colouring and the 1/2 tsp of vinegar, and snap the lid on your container.
3. Now for the fun part! SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE!
Once your rice is evenly coloured, dump it out on your meat tray or baking sheet to dry for a day or two.
Give the container a wipe and a rinse, and proceed with your next colour!
How easy was that! Aren’t you just “dyeing” to dig in and play?
Storing your coloured rice:
Coloured rice will keep indefinitely when stored in an air-tight container. We’ve been using ours for a couple of years now, and it’s still going strong!
Now that you know how to dye rice for sensory activities, you might want to see how we dye pasta too!
Looking for more inexpensive sensory play ideas? Try our: