If you’re looking to make sensory bins or do a craft that calls for rainbow rice, learn how to dye rice in a few simple steps. Our directions don’t require any rubbing alcohol and you might find that you have everything you need at home already!
HOW TO DYE RICE
Learning how to color rice is really pretty simple! I put it off for a long time but I finally learned how to make colored rice with food coloring when I was teaching special education preschool. Sensory bins were part of my daily life during that time!
Many recipes for making colored rice use rubbing alcohol or vinegar. It’s supposed to help set the food coloring so it doesn’t stain your kids’ hands when they’re playing with it. Neither smells too great.
Hand sanitizer has worked well for us and sometimes you can even find scented hand sanitizer to make it smell better! But always make sure the kids understand they aren’t supposed to eat the colored rice!
COLOURED RICE MATERIALS
- Zipper bags – I recommend quart-sized or gallon-sized
- Hand sanitizer
- Uncooked white rice
- Food coloring
- Paper plates
HOW TO COLOR RICE
1. Pour 1 cup of uncooked white rice in a bag.
2. Add 3 squirts of hand sanitizer into the bag with the rice.
3. Add 5-6 drops of food coloring to the bag. If you’re making a color like purple, you’ll want to do half of each color. So we did three drops of red and three drops of blue. If you want a more vibrant color, you can add more food color once you start mixing the rice.
**You can use regular food coloring and it’s what I use when I’m dying rice without planning ahead. But I’ve discovered that the Wilton Color Right Performance Food Coloring Set works a lot better than regular food coloring. I recommend getting it! You’ll get more vibrant colors and have more color options when making rainbow rice!
4. Close the bag most of the way and push the air out of it before sealing it completely.
5. Shake, squeeze, or roll the sealed bag around to mix in the food coloring. This is a great activity for the kids to help with! You want to shake the rice, hand sanitizer, and food coloring around until the grains of rice are well-coated with color.
6. Pour the contents of the bag onto a paper plate and allow to dry for about an hour. You just want to make sure the rice is completely dry before using it!
7. Repeat the process to make all of the colors of the rainbow or whatever colors you need for your rice bin or art project!
You can use colored rice for a ton of different activities with the kids, including:
- Sensory bins
- Sensory bottles/Hide and Seek bottles
- Art projects like
- Water table/sandbox/sensory table
- Flower vase filler
- Rainbow crafts
I love this fun activity with tubes and rice from Happy Toddler Playtime! It’s a creative and fun way to use any color of rainbow rice!
Colored rice is a great activity for rainy days or when it’s just too hot to spend much time outside!
MORE RAINY DAY CRAFTS & ACTIVITIES YOU MIGHT LIKE
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