Sensory Kid: DIY Rainbow Rice

I’m really excited to share a new Sensory Kid activity with you all today. This happens to be Addie’s favorite one of all! This is rainbow rice – the most amazing sensory activity ever. And, it’s super inexpensive. Check it out…
What you need:
white rice (I used a 10-lb. bag)
food coloring
rubbing alcohol
ziploc bags

Oh, and a helper. Addie really and truly helped me make this. It was a bit chaotic at times. I mean, a huge bag of rice, food coloring, and alcohol. A lot could go wrong, people! In fact, it was during this activity that she learned the word, “okay.” Okay? Okay! Okayyyy!!!! :) So maybe make this during nap time, I don’t know.

First, divide your rice into bags. You can do as many colors as you want. I stuck with four.

Put several (8-10) drops of food coloring in each bag, along with a tablespoon or so of alcohol.

Then, shake your bag around. Don’t be too rough with it. You’ll be able to tell when all of the rice turns the color you want it. And, if you think the color is too light, just add some more food coloring. 

Like I said, don’t be too rough. Or this will happen:

Complete this process until all of your rice is colored!

 Next, put all of your rice in a nice bin. I’d make sure it has a lid so that you can store it properly.

 So pretty!

Lastly, let it dry in the sun. You need to let it dry for a few hours. It will smell very strong (from the alcohol) so make sure you dry it somewhere with good ventilation.

Oh, and of course you can mix the colors around. I’d do this a few times as it’s drying to make sure all of it sees some sunlight.

Finally, add some toys and enjoy! Addie loved it so much. We played for about 45 minutes straight. The hard thing is keeping it in the bucket. After a while, I think she finally got the hang of it. I put a few things in it for her to find – like the deer and the ball. We also had a scoop and this star-shaped container so she practiced transferring the rice over and over again. 

Seriously, an awesome activity. Her favorite sensory activity yet! See other sensory ideas HERE.


  1. Lauren says

    Can you use anything that will work instead of alcohol? Just trying to think of what we already have. Thanks! Awesome craft!!

  2. shaina says

    So i tried it with the primary color food coloring instead of neon and lentils instead of white rice….It worked, but isn’t QUITE as cute as the neon colored rice. But it works and my daughter loves it.


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