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Sensory Rainbow Rice


Other people call my child “adventurous” or “spirited.”

I prefer pint-sized tornado.

He has a mind and body that never stop racing and there’s no such thing as a movie day in this household! As such, the usual toys and activities can get old very quickly, which is why I’ve started opting for more and more sensory play.

I aim for a new sensory activity each week and try to spread elements of it out over a few days, this week we went with rainbow rice.

Using the rainbow rice for sensory play has a multitude of benefits, including furthering your little person’s fine motor skills, stimulating their mind with it’s colourful appearance and fun noise when being poured, can even have calming benefits, and like most sensory activities, promotes child led play.

To make the rainbow rice you need only two ingredients!

⁃ Food colouring

⁃ Uncooked rice

(If you have ziplock bags and baking paper around the house, grab them too.)


1. Divide rice evenly into ziplock bags. I chose to do five colours and used roughly 1 cup of rice per colour

2. Add your food colouring to each bag. (Make sure they’re closed properly!)

3. Knead and shake until the colour is distributed evenly

4. Lay rice out to dry out for a few hours

5. Let the fun begin!

(While not totally necessary, I ensured there was a baking tray and paper underneath when i added the food colouring and mixed it through the rice to be completely sure that I wasn’t signing myself up for a bright green bench top!)

For the first activity with our fresh batch of rainbow rice I opted for a little treasure hunt.

We used the Kmart play tray full of our rice, with some coins hidden throughout and a moneybox.

We used an assortment of tools (including our hands) to pick up the coins and sort them into their correct slots.

When he had finish hunting for treasure, my son enjoyed mixing up the rice and then chose to get some of his Australian animals (and a rogue elephant) to play in the rice for hours on end.

As I mentioned earlier, I like to aim for sensory activities that can spread over a few days, and this is no exception.

We can now use the rice in future for colour sorting, to make maracas and various other sensory play activities.

There are no rules and it doesn’t need to be an expensive or fancy activity, but whatever keeps them off of the iPad or asking to go to the park before I’ve even finished making my morning coffee is a win in my book!


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