Rainbow Rice

We seriously have hundreds of toys in our playroom, so it boggles my mind when my toddler decides to play with a dust bunny from the corner, a paper towel, or a personal favorite in our house- tupperware.  On one occasion, Layla decided the item of the day would be a bag of lentils she found in the cabinet (naturally).  She quietly played with those lentils for a week- it was fantastic- but I think we weirded a few people out.  Rainbow rice was our dressed up version of lentils.

After we cooked up our rainbow rice I just placed it in a baking tin I had lying around.  Layla used her hands, as well as a small gardening set to play with the rice.  If it is nice enough, get outside and play with the rice there, otherwise you’ll be sweeping up beautifully colored rice for months (or so I hear).

Sensory play is so important for kids of all ages because it allows them to investigate items and develop their own ideas about what it is, how it can be used, etc. It is also extremely easy for parents and in many cases requires little to no preparation.  Rainbow rice is a great one to try. Bag up the rice or put it in a resealable tupperware container and it can be used over and over.

What You Need:

  • 6 cups Inexpensive Long Grain White Rice
  • Food Coloring
  • 6 Zip Lock Bags
  • 6 Teaspoons Water

Skills Developed:

  • Fine Motor
  • Sensory Skills


Pour 1 cup of dry white rice into each of your ziplock bags.  Add your food coloring separately into each bag (the more drops the brighter the color).  Add 1 teaspoon of water to each bag, seal it up and let the kiddos smush it around in there! Once the color is spread through out the bag, pour your rice on a baking sheet and cook at 200 degrees for 5-8 minutes.

If you’re in the “I eat everything in sight” phase- this may not be the best activity- put this on hold and choose a sensory activity that has larger objects like spiral noodles, pipe cleaners, felt pieces, etc. Older siblings could help in the actual making of the rainbow rice- have them do all the measuring and pouring. If they need something to do when the rice is done have them use household items and try building a tool that could be used for picking up the rice.

**I have it on good authority this works with dried navy beans as well 🙂

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