Today we are showing you how to make rainbow rice! This makes an awesome sensory bin activity. In this post, we are taking you through a step by step tutorial for making your own rainbow rice sensory bins.
My kids love sensory bins! So many new textures and things to feel, do and experience.
Some sensory bins are a total hit, and today’s rainbow rice bin was no exception!
My oldest son is somewhat obsessed with rainbows.
So a rainbow rice sensory bin only made sense.
His favorite part of the whole activity though was dyeing the rice!
Dyeing the rice sounds a little complicated, but it’s actually pretty easy. Here’s a step by step tutorial on how you and the kiddos can make your own rainbow rice!
Table of Contents
- Supplies Needed for Rainbow Rice
- Supplies Needed for the Sensory Bin
- How to Make the Rainbow Rice
- Setting up the Rainbow Rice Sensory Bins
Supplies Needed for Rainbow Rice
- White rice (we used 2 cups of rice for each color)
- Several Mason Jars (We used 5)
- Food coloring in a variety of rainbow colors (we used red, blue, yellow, green and hot pink)
- 1 tbs of Rubbing alcohol for each color, although other alcohol would totally work (Since we had 5 colors, we used 5 Tbs)
Supplies Needed for the Sensory Bin
- Bin to play with rice in
- Fun tools to move around the rice
- Extra toys (we used little rainbow buttons for added fun)
How to Make the Rainbow Rice
Now we’ll show you how to make this rainbow rice using food dye and just a bit of rubbing alcohol, although any alcohol will work.
Step 1: Gathering the Rice and Dyeing Supplies
Start by gathering your supplies to dye the rainbow rice.
Step 2: Divide the Rice
Separate and place the white rice into different mason jars. We split ours between 5 different jars, one for each of our different colors.
We loosely measured, but we put about 2 cups of rice in each jar.
This part the kids can help with too!
Step 3: Add Dye to the Rice
Now that you have all of your rice separated into the jars, add one color of food dye to each of your jars.
We added green to one jar, yellow to another, etc. until each of our mason jars had both rice and dye.
Step 4: Add the Rubbing Alcohol
Now add 1 tbs of rubbing alcohol to each jar.
The alcohol will help spread the dye evenly around the rice. Don’t worry about the alcohol affecting the kids!
It disappears once the rice fully drys.
Step 5: Cap and Shake the Jars
Now you can cap each of the jars and shake like crazy to evenly color all of your rice.
A lot of shaking is necessary!
You may even have to stir the jars a bit to break up any large clumps of food coloring.
This is a blurry photo of my oldest shaking the rice. This part really wore him out!
Of course, this part should be done by an adult, or a child old enough to understand how to handle glass safely.
Step 6: Drying the Rainbow Rice
Place each color of your rice to dry on a different surface. We used paper plates but baking sheets would work great too!
If it’s a sunny day, the heat from the sun will help it dry very quickly.
Give the rice a gentle occasional stir to help the drying process.
Step 6: Add the Rainbow Rice to the Sensory Bins
Once the rice is totally dry, now it’s time for the fun part!
Adding the rice to the sensory bin!
For a fun effect, we layered our rainbow rice into colored layers.
Setting up the Rainbow Rice Sensory Bins
Setting up a rainbow rice sensory bin is fun and takes nearly nothing once it’s got all the fun colored rice in it!
Things we added to our rainbow rice sensory bin:
- A large spoon
- A fun silicone brush
- A few rainbow buttons we had on hand
- A measuring cup
Other Items You Could Add to the Rainbow Rice Bins
Don’t feel limited on what you can add to the sensory bins! Other fun items that would encourage sensory play
- Small funnels
- Small jars
- Toy cars
- Blocks or Legos