How to Colour Rice

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There is a lot to be said for sensory play.

Not only is sensory play, HEAPS of fun, it’s inviting, engaging and provides your child with so many learning opportunities!

Sensory play involves engaging your child’s senses; touch, sound, taste, smell and sight.

It involves your child actively participating in an activity that stimulates a child’s senses which is how they learn about their environment and so much more!

One of our favourite sensory mediums is rice. It’s inexpensive, may be reused over and over again, biodegradable (once it has had its day) and can be used in a limitless number of activities.

Add it to small world play, make musical instrument, discovery bags, calm down bottles, hide and seek bags, use it for pouring, scooping, stirring and so much more!

How can we make a product so versatile and amazing even better?

Colour it!

Colouring rice is so easy and can really take the play experience to a whole new level!

To colour rice, all you need is the exactly the same technique as used to colour dry pasta.

Basically you need the colouring and a carrier to spread the colouring through the rice. I have used both vinegar and hand sanitiser as carrying agents.

Personally I do prefer to use hand sanitiser as I find the colour payoff is much more intense and the rice dries much quicker than when I have used vinegar. This being said, using vinegar does make the end product more taste safe.

To colour rice using the hand sanitiser method, you need to gather:

  • Rice
  • Hand Sanitiser
  • Food colouring
  • Large bowl / ziplock bag
  • Spoon
  • Baking Tray

Then all you need to do is:

  • Pop your rice into your bowl or zip lock bag (I use a bowl in our attempt to reduce our families contribution to the use of plastic)
  • Add a couple of drops of your favourite food colouring and a squirt of hand sanitiser
  • Give it a mix or shake until the colour is evenly dispersed and you are happy with the intensity of the colour
  • Lay it out to dry on your tray

It should be dry within an hour. Our last tray was dry within thirty minutes!

Once dry, your rice may be stored just as you would store your rice in your pantry. I use old passata jars. We always have lots of them around!

Would you like to watch us colour rice? We went live on Facebook – Click here to see!

Have an amazing time playing with your own home coloured rice. It really is such an amazing sensory medium!

Dani D x

Disclosure: This Blog does contain affiliate links which I may earn a small commission from if you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you.

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18 thoughts on “How to Colour Rice

  1. The rice looks so vibrant I never knew You could add hand sanitizer.I always use to add colour and a teaspoon of water and then dry is a pre warmed oven.

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Dani is a busy mum, pre-service teacher and and founder of Play Inspired Mum. Her goal is to inspire creative play ideas, encourage the love of reading, offer tips to make your household eco friendly and remind you that you are not alone on this wild rollercoaster of a journey known as parenting! She loves houseplants, giant chunky cookies and all things play based, incorporating learning experiences into every day!