How to Make Rainbow Colored Rice – #sensoryplay

Super Easy DIY Rainbow Colored Rice - Great for Sensory Play!


Rainbow colored rice is easy to make and a great sensory play item for kids. We’ll teach you how to make colored rice in just a few easy steps!




DIY Rainbow Colored Rice

  • Dry, uncooked white rice
  • Food Coloring
  • Rubbing alcohol or alcohol based liquid

Step 1 ~ Mix a few drops of food coloring with 2 tablespoons of an alcohol-based liquid.  We used Sea Breeze. Separate the rice into small ziplock bags.



Step 2 ~ Add a different colored liquid to each bag. Have your helpers squish the bag until the color is spread throughout the rice.



Step 3 ~ Pour the rice onto wax paper on a baking sheet or flat plates.  We used styrofoam plates.



Step 4 ~ Put rice into direct sunlight.  We put ours outside and it was completely dry within a couple of hours.



Step 5 ~ Pour dry rice into a tupperware container or box for play, easy clean up and storage.



This is a fun and easy project to do with your kids.  It’s inexpensive and great for sensory play.

We’ve made huge amounts in the past and put in our sand and water table, but on rainy days it’s just as much fun indoors!




  1. I have never seen that, will have to do a video tutorial, I am thinking it would look really pretty filling some tall wine glasses with the rice and adding a votive on top! Thanks for the idea :-)

  2. What a great idea…I’ve never seen this before!! I can’t wait to try this with my kids – and its okay if either of them eat it!


  3. This is a great idea!~ Thanks so much for sharing the love :)

  4. Great work! Isn’t rice play the best? You should link this up to The Sunday Showcase !

  5. Matthew Roche says:

    Love the idea. Kids loved it. Took my 12 days to resort the rice back by color!

  6. Yay- you linked up! Love it 😉

  7. Made this with my kids years ago. Be sure to supervise…we had a trip to the doctor to remove rice from my daughter’s ear.

  8. Oh wow, that is really neat! I bet you could even use it to make fun crafts, kind of like colored sand by not so, well, sandy!

  9. Just made this today with my 12-year-old daughter – thank you so much for the concise, easy-to-follow recipe! Will definitely link back today when I blog about our sensory tub.

  10. liz harvey says:

    I am going to do a few sensory stations at my daughters two year bday part and love this idea! Can anyone tell me that has played with home made colored rice if the color bleeds onto your hands/clothes? Especially since all of the kiddos are only two and haven’t gotten over putting their hands in their mouths:)

    Thank you for any advice!

    • My son was under two when he played with it and I never saw it bleed at all, but I’m not sure if it ever got wet. Maybe do a tiny batch and check to be safe? :)

  11. Brenna Paul says:

    This would be great for my son who has sensory issues. Thank you!!

  12. Francis Pell says:

    This looks like something my grandson would like. I will try to make some for my daughter and grandson. Thank you!

  13. A very cool idea! Kids will have so much fun with this.

  14. marissa lee says:

    i have never seened this before..what a great ideal…can’t wait to try it…thank you for sharing.

  15. I love this one! But instead of alcohol i used a couple tablespoons of vinegar and just let it dry over night in the bags! The little boy i nanny absolutely loves it!

  16. Patricia Mohl says:

    This brings back such great memories. My mom used to die macaroni noodles for her daycare kids to make necklaces.

  17. I love sensory activities of any sort and this one looks so easy!

  18. Robin Wilson says:

    What a great and inexpensive idea for sensory play! LOL when I first saw it I thought it was Fruity Pebbles!

  19. So cool! Do you know if the colored rice color get on the kids hands during play? 

    • It never has on my kids. The rice gets pretty dry with the alcohol, so unless the kids are using water or are really sweaty, it shouldn’t transfer. :)


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