How to Make Coloured Rice for Sensory Play

A toy duck on blue coloured rice

I’d been thinking about making some coloured rice for sensory play for some time. But I wondered if it would be one of those monstrous tasks that would be more effort than it was worth. Totally not the case! It was so easy, even easier than making playdough in fact. So I thought this needed sharing, in case, like me, you’ve avoided making coloured rice assuming it would be too much of a mission. I promise you, it is incredibly simple – so go for it!

Here’s how to make coloured rice:


  • 1 cup of rice
  • Food colouring (I used a gel which worked well)
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • A old plastic tub with a lid (I used a large yogurt pot, but a margarine tub would work well too)


  • Add the rice to the plastic tub
  • Stir a few drops of food colouring into the rice (enough so you can see it will create the desired colour)
  • Add the vinegar
  • Shake, shake, shake! Then shake a little more.
  • Pour out onto a plate and leave to dry over night. I placed a piece of kitchen towel onto my plate first.
Blue coloured rice on a plate

That’s it! So simple and it creates a really vibrant coloured rice for your little ones to play with. You can also store it away and then use it again and again.

I was concerned the colour would come off on our hands, but it didn’t at all. That’s what the vinegar is for, it helps to set the colour. You also just need to ensure you give it time to dry out.

We made blue rice for our first attempt and it became a pond for our duck. Think about what kind of play your children might like to do and then choose a colour to suit. Or you could try making lots of different colours and then mixing them all together to create rainbow rice.

I hope this convinces you to have a crack at making coloured rice for your child’s sensory play – they will love it and you’ll soon be making all the colours of the rainbow.

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