Rainbow Rice Sensory Activity

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Rainbow Rice

A good sensory bin can keep your kids busy for a long time!  One of my favorites to pull out, is rainbow rice.  It’s INSANELY easy to make and is always a HUGE hit.  The ingredients are very affordable and easy to grab at any store.  I buy the cheapest rice I can find and almost always have the other ingredients on hand.  

Here’s What You Need

2 c. white rice

2 tsp rubbing alcohol

15-20 drops of food coloring

large zipper bags

Here’s How You Make It

My kids enjoy making the rice almost as much as they love playing with it.

Add two cups of white rice (uncooked) to a sealable bag followed by 2 teaspoons of rubbing alcohol.  Next add in food coloring, the more food coloring you add, the brighter your rice color will turn out. If I trust the bags that we use, I’ll let my kids give the bag a good shake to make sure the color is evenly distributed amongst the rice.

Pour on to cookie sheets or parchment paper to dry. Drying takes about 20 minutes but we usually let it dry longer to ensure the color won’t rub off on to little hands!  Once dry, combine in your bin and you’re ready to go!


How to Play

Rainbow rice can be played with so many different ways which is why I love it.  We make one huge batch and use it all week, each day targeting something different. Sensory Play is great for children of all ages. Sensory play has a lot of research backing as an important part of children’s play allowing them to discover self play, enhancing senses, and aids in skills such as fine motor and language development.

Here’s a few skills we target using rainbow rice:

  • Fine motor development.  Using mediums such as scoops and cups, your children can work on fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination.  Throw in tweezers to further development of fine motor skills
  • Language development.  Use a toys such as a character and “bury” it in the rice.  This can target basic concept vocabulary such as “under”, “over”, “in” and “out”.  Other vocabulary targets can include color. 
  • Phonics and phonemic awareness.  Using a manipulative such as a magnetic letter, target phonemic awareness and phonics.  Make a game of finding the letters buried. Once your child finds the letter, target letter identification along with the sound the letter makes.  If you have older children, you can extend the activity to include construction of sight words.  I use these darling placemats to target letter matching and tracing. 



It’s such a fun activity. I truly hope you and your kids enjoy this!  




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