How to Dye Rice – Busy Toddler

Making a rainbow rice sensory bin is among the best and most satisfying DIY tasks. On this put up, you’ll study find out how to dye rice (in a style secure means) and discover sensory bin actions that may be carried out as soon as the rice dries. Seize your rice, meals coloring, and vinegar: we’ve obtained rainbow rice to make.

A cookie sheet full of drying rainbow rice sits on a counter. The rice is dyed yellow, blue, green, purple and pink. The text reads "How to Dye Rice for a taste-safe sensory bin."

What’s rainbow rice?

Rainbow rice is an umbrella time period for colourful dry rice that’s been dyed to be performed with. The colour is certain to the rice making it a sensory exercise that gained’t make little palms messy.

It’s a unicorn sensory materials.

Inviting, colourful, straightforward to make, and taste-safe. Yup, taste-safe.

What makes this recipe for rainbow rice particular is that the rice remains to be “edible” on the finish. You wouldn’t wish to prepare dinner it for dinner but when your taby grabs a handful for a nibble, it’s secure for his or her little mouth (however in all probability gained’t style scrumptious).

Different variations of rainbow rice use hand sanitizer, tempera paint, or liquid water coloration. All are nice choices however lose the taste-safe pleasure of rainbow rice, which is why I’ve caught with this methodology for seven years.

RELATED: Searching for info on sensory play, like why sensory bins are so important? Take a look at this text.

Searching for extra construction every day?

Take a look at Taking part in Preschool: Busy Toddler’s 190-day at-home actions program

Is it exhausting to dye rainbow rice?


A thousand instances no.

After I was a primary time Pinterest scrolling mother or father, I might audibly scoff on the concept of dyeing rice. Who has the time? Why undergo all that fuss? And once more, who has the time to be dyeing rice?

Seems: it’s tremendous straightforward and the method is absolutely enjoyable. In reality, making rainbow rice is it’s personal enjoyable exercise and solely will get children extra excited to play with the rice they realized find out how to dye.

And the why? Rainbow rice is magical rice. As a lot as I really like the simplicity of a rice sensory bin, I do know that rainbow rice is gold for youths. They go complete moth to a flame with it so the little bit of additional time to make the rice comes again to you 100-fold.

RELATED: How do you get toddlers to play with sensory bins with out making an enormous mess? You train them. Learn to introduce toddlers to sensory bins right here.

An up close image of mixed up rainbow rice colors: pink, purple, yellow, blue, and green.


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  • 5 lbs bag of white rice: brown works however isn’t as vibrant
  • Food coloring: I used this pack of neon colours
  • White vinegar: that is going to protect the rice

You’ll additionally want a number of non-consumable provides:

  • Resealable zipper baggage or a container with a lid
  • Cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper: technically elective however makes clear up a breeze

RELATED: Love that feeling once you see a recipe on-line and have all of the elements available? Me too. That’s how I really feel about actions and provides. You possibly can see my list of supplies here.

The supplies for how to dye rice are on a counter: rice, food coloring, vinegar, and a container.

The way to dye rice

Let’s get into the step-by-step of find out how to dye rice. Bear in mind: it’s straightforward, it’s enjoyable, children can assist, and the play on the finish will likely be value it.

Fundamental recipe/ratio for every coloration of rice (I do 5 colours):

  • 2 cups white rice
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • Beneficiant squirts of meals dye

This ratio (1:1 rice to vinegar) is gold. Persist with that formulation and regulate from there.

Why vinegar? The vinegar helps unfold and set the dye when utilizing meals coloring. There will likely be a slight vinegar odor the primary day or so of play however this disappears quick.

Step 4: Shake, shake, shake. Simply activate shake it off and actually go for it. Simply make certain the bag or the container is totally sealed. Belief me.

As you shake, open and test to verify the colour appears to be like the way you need. Should you want extra, add it. If it wants a stir within the center as a result of clumps are forming, do this.

Step 5: Lay on a cookie sheet to dry. Will probably be dry in about 30-45 minutes. Don’t begin taking part in with it till it’s totally dry.

Step six: Repeat with the subsequent colours, including to the cookie sheet.

Make a rainbow rice sensory bin

Now that you understand how to dye rice, it’s time to play with that rice.

Pour it right into a sensory bin (my favourite is simply an below the mattress storage container from Goal). You possibly can add in nearly any toy to the sensory bin to make it come alive.

Listed here are a few of our favourite methods to play with rainbow rice over time:

Rice and Funnels

There’s one thing about rainbow rice and funnels. These funnels are from the greenback retailer.

Scoops and Jars

Three jars and some scoops and my toddlers had been set for an hour. And days, and days, and days after that.

Development Website

Toss in some toy vans and switch it right into a rainbow rice development website. You gained’t remorse it.

Are you able to reuse rainbow rice?

Sure! Sure! Sure! Rainbow rice will final for YEARS whether it is sealed in an air tight container.

I’ve rainbow rice that we’ve been reusing since 2019. The rainbow rice I made for this put up when to just a little buddy who’s 20 months previous. His first rainbow rice sensory bin.

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Does the colour stain palms?

Nope! As soon as it’s dry, the colour stays on the rice for-ev-er. It’s not coming off. However you must make certain it’s dry earlier than you play with it.

What age group likes rainbow rice?

All age teams. As soon as a baby is secure to make use of a sensory bin with rice, they will do that exercise – and so they’ll hold taking part in with it effectively past age 10. No joke. Rainbow rice sensory bins are ageless.

How do you retain bugs out?

Retailer it in an hermetic container, such as you would any meals merchandise. And retailer it safely for the realm you reside in. Completely different climates could have totally different storage wants.

Susie Allison, M. Ed

Proprietor, Creator

Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has greater than 2 million followers on Instagram. A former instructor and early childhood training advocate, Susie’s parenting e book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is out there on Amazon.

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