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Rainbow Rice Sensory Activity

2013-03-15 by Melissa & Doug

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Sensory projects are the perfect activity to focus and calm children. In addition to creating sensory bins, an activity using a variety of materials that children can manipulate with their hands is also a fun after-school or weekend craft. This rainbow rice sensory activity is a quick, easy arts & crafts project with pizzazz! Plus you can use the rice in a sensory bin as well!

Adult supervision is needed… and here’s how it works:

Steps 1 through 3

To make your colored rice:

For each color of rice, you’ll need these materials:

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/2 packet powdered drink mix (this makes the color!)
  • 1 zipper-style sandwich bag
  • 1 cap-full of rubbing alcohol
  • Tape

What to do:

  1. Put 1 cup of white rice into a sandwich bag.
  2. Add 1/2 packet of powdered drink mix and 1 cap-full of rubbing alcohol.
  3. Zip the bag closed and make sure it’s sealed. Tape it closed, just to be sure!
  4. Shake the bag for 30 seconds or until all of the rice is colored.
  5. Pour the rice out onto paper towels (on a non-staining surface) and spread out the rice. (Dries in less than an hour.)

Repeat this for each color. When the rice is dry and doesn’t stick together anymore, put each color in an individual container (i.e. sandwich bags). The rice will now look great, feel nice and smell awesome… a multi-sensory experience!

A Rainbow of Rice Colors

To make a rice rainbow:

Use card stock or construction paper and liberally use white glue to “draw” a thick rainbow stripe on the page. Add one rice color to each stripe of glue and pat it down gently. Wait 30 seconds and lift up the paper to shake off excess rice. Keep adding glue stripes and rice to the page, once color at a time until your rainbow is finished. (Tip: Save any excess colored rice in a sandwich bag, and you’ll be ready to make “confetti” or “sprinkles” for another project!)

DIY Rice Rainbow

See how our guest blogger Jamie of Hands On As We Grow used colored rice for some creative sensory learning!

What are your favorite sensory activities for kids? Share them with us on Instagram (use hashtags #CountlessWaysToPlay and #TakeBackChildhood)!


Melissa & Doug

Our team of play experts occasionally enjoys sharing news about our company, new product launches, and some of the #CountlessWaysToPlay with our toys, crafts, and games. At Melissa & Doug, we’re on a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow through kid-powered play!

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