Easy How To Dye Rice for Sensory Play Bins

Sharing Online!

How to Dye Rice

Are you looking for fun and creative ideas to keep your child busy, or give them something to do on rainy days? Then I have just the thing for you! Let’s learn how to dye rice! 

how to dye rice

Making rainbow rice is a great way to make colored rice so that your children can have a fun sensory activity to keep them busy. Plus, they will also help improve their fine motor skills, and as a fun way to enjoy rice play.

You can make colored rice and a few easy steps following the simple recipe. You don’t need to have much on hand, and thankfully none of the ingredients are expensive. That way you can enjoy making that fun craft that your kids can enjoy for a long time to come. 

Make Rainbow Rice in 5 Minutes! Themed Sensory Bins

Creating sensory-themed bins, for a sensory table can come in many different ways or varieties of activities. Kids activities that let them create with their little hands are a fun way for them to experience a sensory activity. 

Sensory activities don’t have to be difficult to create, or expensive, in fact making colored rice is one sensory play activity that young children can enjoy creating and playing with. There are only a few simple steps involved in making this colored rice.

Plus, there are several different ways that young children can enjoy creating with colored rice after it has been dyed and dried. Using colored rice lets your child experience some hands-on play, simply enjoying different sensory activities with the rice, or you can make different crafts with the rice after it has been dyed. 

Let’s look at how to dye rice with color so that you can begin making fun memories! 

How to Dye Rice

Supplies for Dyeing Rice:

White Rice. How much rice you need will depend on how much you want to have when finished. Usually, a cup of rice or two will be plenty for one child. The type of rice you use is not a big deal. I would, however, recommend that you use uncooked rice, rather than minute rice, otherwise, any kind of white rice will work. 

Plastic Sandwich Bag. It’s a good idea to mix the rice with the colors inside a sandwich ziplock bag, or something that seals securely. 

White Vinegar. You will only need a small amount of vinegar, but we do recommend using white vinegar rather than apple cider vinegar. Usually, a teaspoon of white vinegar will work well for this project. 

Food Coloring. A few drops of food coloring will work to color the rice. Make sure to select your desired colors, then you can use liquid food coloring or gel coloring as desired. 

colored rice

How to Make Dyed Rice

To color rice, take a plastic bag and add 1 cup of uncooked rice. Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar and a few drops of food coloring. You won’t need much food coloring but add a few drops to get you started. If you want more, you can add a few more later. 

Seal the plastic bag, removing any excess air. Then gently massage the plastic bag, on the outside, until the food coloring has colored all of the rice evenly. 

If you want, you can add more food coloring at this point. 

Once you are satisfied with the color of your rice, it’s time to start the drying process. 

Take a cookie sheet, and line it with parchment paper preferably, or wax paper if needed. Carefully pour the dyed rice into a thin layer on the lined cookie sheet. 

Place the dyed rice in direct sunlight for one to two hours, or let it set overnight until it is completely dry. 

Transfer the dry rice to an airtight container, such as a mason jar with a lid, or Tupperware container, for storage. When the colored rice is not in use, it should be stored in an airtight container, for proper storage. 

Colored Rice Storage

Rice that is stored in an airtight container will last much longer, and your child will be able to get many uses out of the same, colored rice. 

Once you have learned how to dye rice, the fun part starts! You get to make your DIY colored rice, and then your child can enjoy playing with it! 

Some fun ways to enjoy this sensory activity with colored rice is to let your child play with the colored rice in a plastic container, in a large bin, or on a baking sheet. 

This fun activity will likely keep your child’s little hands busy for a long time, and allow them to have so much fun with this simple activity. It’s a wonder what a child’s imagination can do with a little bit of colored rice! 

Making Art Projects

Another fun way to use your died rice is to make a colorful creation or art project using the colored rice. You can glue the colored rice into different designs or use it as accents for other art projects. Really, the sky is the limit when it comes to different activities your kids might enjoy doing with the colored rice. 

rice dyed different colors

Tips For Easy Colored Rice Every Time

Using Essential Oils

Because the best way to make colored rice involves white vinegar, some are not a fan of the vinegar smell. Adding a drop or two of essential oils to your rice mixture is a great way to get rid of the smell of vinegar. You could also try adding some lemon juice if you prefer. 

Food Coloring Options

As mentioned above, there are a few different coloring options when it comes to what type of dye to use. The most convenient is going to be regular food coloring. The kind that comes in liquid form, and you can simply add a few drops to color the rice. 

Another great option is to use gel food coloring. Typically, gel food coloring will provide more vibrant colors to your rice, but may be a little more challenging to dissolve in the rice mixture. Both options will work well to color the rice for your sensory activities. 

Different Methods for Making Died Rice

Vinegar Method

Using vinegar along with drops of food coloring is our favorite method, but there are a few other ways you might prefer. 

Hand Sanitizer

Rather than using vinegar, you can add a little bit of alcohol hand gel, or hand sanitizer into the rice mixture. Just keep in mind a little bit goes a long way. 

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is another option to replace vinegar. You also will not need much rubbing alcohol. A few drops will do the trick. 

Paint Method

Rather than using food coloring, another option would be to add a drop or two of acrylic paint of your color choice into the rice. This will dye it without even having to add vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or hand sanitizer. 

easy colored rice for kids

Make Colored Rice For A Sensory Bin FAQs

How Long Does The Rice Take to Dry?

Typically it will take an hour or two for the rice to dry out completely if you can spread the rice out thin, on some parchment paper. Another way to make sure it dries quickly is to put it in the sunshine. Otherwise, you may need to let it set overnight so that you are sure it dries.

Can I Make Rainbow Rice Without Vinegar?

Yes, the best alternative to making rainbow rice without vinegar is to use a few drops of rubbing alcohol. However, if you don’t have this, you could use a few drops of acrylic paint in its place.

How Do I Store Rainbow Rice?

Once the rice is completely dry, it can be stored in an airtight container, or sealed in a plastic bag.

Why Use Sensory Bins?

Sensory bins are a great thing for kids to play with because they help your child’s imagination grow and flourish. It will also help your child’s learning potential when they play with sensory-based toys.

Making Colored Rice 

Learning how to dye rice is the easiest way to add beautiful colors to sensory bottles or sensory bins. Colorful rice is a low-cost and fun way to let your child have hours of fun playing with their sensory bin. 

Thank you so much for stopping in to learn how to dye rice! Now that you know how to easily make colored rice, it’s time to get started making memories and letting the wonder and imagination take over with this creative activity. 

More You Will Love!

If you love sensory bin toys, you might also enjoy learning how to crochet a ball. These are another great addition to your child’s sensory bin.

Find Us Online!

Be sure to follow us online on your favorite social media platform!

Colored Rice Recipe

colored rice craft

How to Dye Rice

Prep Time 5 minutes

Equipment

  • Sealable Plastic Bag

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2-3 drops food coloring

Instructions
 

  • To color rice, take a plastic bag and add 1 cup of uncooked rice. Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar and a few drops of food coloring. You won’t need much food coloring but add a few drops to get you started. If you want more, you can add a few more later.
  • Seal the plastic bag, removing any access air. Then gently massage the plastic bag, on the outside, until the food coloring has colored all of the rice evenly.
  • If you want, you can add more food coloring at this point.
  • Once you are satisfied with the color of your rice, it’s time to start the drying process.
  • Take a cookie sheet, and line it with parchment paper preferably, or wax paper if needed. Carefully pour the dyed rice into a thin layer on the lined cookie sheet.
  • Place the dyed rice in direct sunlight for one to two hours, or let it set overnight until it is completely dry.
  • Transfer the dry rice to an airtight container for proper storage. Continue to store in an airtight container when it is not in use.
Keyword colored rice, colored rice for sensory bin, how to color rice, how to dye rice, how to make colored rice

PIN for Later!

how to dye rice for sensory play bins
me by the river
About the author

My name is Faith, and I am so glad you are here! I love all things crafts, and have created this site as a way to share my passion with YOU!

About

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating