Rainbow rice


A sensory bin is used not only for creative play but for specifically stimulating the senses. For toddlers, along with the tactile sense of touch, sensory rice helps them to work on fine motor control. The uncooked rice is very small – watch as they scoop it up in their hands, stir it around, or work on picking up individual grains.

You can involve your toddler in the rice preparation too! They will love to help you squish the rice around a zip lock bag as you attempt to dye each grain.

What you’ll need

  • Gel food colours
  • Plastic zip lock bags
  • Uncooked white rice


  1. Divide your rice among the plastic bags
  2. Squirt a different gel food colour into each bag of rice
  3. Seal the bags, squeezing most of the air out
  4. Squish each bag around, getting the colour all over the rice
  5. Spread the rice out onto a foil-lined baking sheet
  6. Bake in the oven at the lowest setting for 5 minutes then remove and let cool – this dries the food colouring so that it doesn’t get everywhere
  7. Pour into a jar in layers, or just pour directly into your rainbow rice sensory bin


  • Child-led exploration
  • Fine motor skills
  • Creative play
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Visual stimulation from colour

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