DIY Coloured Rice for Kids
November 27, 2020

DIY Coloured Rice for Kids

Coloured Rice

DIY Coloured Rice for Kids

Rice can be used in so many ways for arts & crafts. It’s also a great sensory activity for kids. They love the texture and letting it slide in between their fingers. I have dyed pasta before, which you can see here. So I thought I would try my hand at dying rice. It’s vey easy, inexpensive and most of all FUN!

All you need is: (per colour)

Dyed Rice

1 cup of white rice

1/4 cup white vinegar

Food Colouring

Dyed Rice

Add the rice to a zip lock bag.

Dyed Rice

Add 1/4 cup of Vinegar & a few drops of food colouring to the rice.

Dyed Rice 4

Zip the bag tightly shut & squish & squelch until all of the colour is combined evenly.

Dyed Rice 5

Pour your coloured rice out onto a tray lined with Baking Paper and let it dry for an hour or two…now here’s where even more FUN starts..

Dyed Rice 7

We love to pour our rice into sensory tubs and play with shovels, spades & our hands.

Dyed Rice 8 Dyed Rice 9Dyed Rice 12 Dyed Rice 10



This time, we added the different coloured rice to a funky bottle for that ‘coloured sand’ look!

Dyed Rice 6

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

If you liked this activity, you may also like our:

Easter Sensory Craft – using Dyed Rice

Homemade Sludge

No Cook Playdough Recipe

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Jenni x


23 thoughts on “DIY Coloured Rice for Kids

  1. I have been dying rice for years but I use alcohol…I will have to try the vinegar. I use it for crafts for my trace their hand print onto construction paper, lightly fill “hand” with glue then let the child put colored rice on glue…great gift for Mother’s Day.

    1. I love the handprint idea Debbie! We’ve dyed pasta using rubbing alcohol which works great but now I use the vinegar as it’s a lot safer for little kiddies who put things in their mouth. Jen x

  2. I’m going to do coloured rice hand prints and bottles with my little daycare kiddies a friend of mine did the coloured rice in bottles plus she added six little objects she took a photo of the six objects made a card then the kiddies rolled the bottled rice around to find the objects it was great to see the kiddies excitement when they found one of the objects

    1. Hi Michelle, the vinegar is used to ‘stick’ the food colouring to the rice. It is also a nice, non toxic way of doing it : ) Jenni x

  3. I’ve done this several times, but never used the vinegar, and it still turned out great! Just several drops of food colouring in a bag of rice & shake until dispersed. Maybe I got lucky?

    1. You should be able to, it’s only vinegar and food colouring added to the rice. No idea how old your comment is though, sorry if you’ve already solved it. I had the same question myself. Though I’d eat it first in case it wasn’t the nicest tasting thing. 🙂

  4. i have a simpler way of dying rice, simply take 1 cup of water, color it using a small amount of food coloring. add 2 cups of uncooked rice in a shallow bowl and add 1-2 teaspoons of the water. add a tiny amount of food coloring to the rice and mix well till its combined and leave to dry for five minutes and you’re done! i filled a jar with different layers of it to look like the jars of colored sand you get at beaches.

  5. I used neon food coloring with no vinegar and no water, just mixed the food coloring in a baggie with the rice. I added more/less food coloring depending on the color I wanted to achieve. I also tried using the water and the vinegar method to compare color and drying time. The food coloring only rice had little to no drying time while the others took awhile to dry completely. The colors were just as vibrant. I don’t know the long term results but I’m happy with the results from today.

  6. Hi all, I use the dyed rice in clear plastic bottles (they have to be smooth sides bottles) and add letter tiles, number tiles or even small toys to them.

    They make a great center for my kids. The kids roll the jars to find letters, numbers or toys and use them to complete differentiated tasks; writing the lower/uppercase pairs, writing numbers or writing the before/after numbers, first or last sounds, spelling cvc words etc etc etc.

    Same idea works for sensory bins, but less opportunity for differentiation as it takes too much time during the day to switch the objects in the bins between centers. Plus the bottles are easier to store and share.

    – LJ K teacher

  7. This the first time I have been on your site. I was looking for a simple way to color rice to use in my Sunday School class. It looks simple, easy to do. I may try the play dough as well. Thank you for posting these ideas.

  8. Hi,

    Does the coloured rice stain the clothes after drying??

    I am thinking about doing this for the rice that will be thrown on my wedding day at the church. I am just worried about it staining my dress.


    1. Hi Sara, It doesn’t stain anything provided it doesn’t get wet! I’m not sure if I would be game if there’s any chance of rain or if it’s super humid. I hope that helps. Have a wonderful wedding day!!
      Louise x

  9. This is great! Thanks so much. Quick usage question though. My son is 4 and HATES touching anything he believes will make him dirty (ie. Paint, playdough, flour). Will the dye get on his hands?? Also, how long can this be stored before you would suggest switching it out? We are a bit new to sensory projects.

    1. It wont leave anything on his hands as long as you let it dry before touching. I stirred it with my hand after about an hour and nothing came off on me.
      As long as it doesn’t get moisture or contaminated with anything which would make it mold you should be able to store indefinitely.

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