Making Colored Play Rice

Dry rice makes a great medium for kids to play with. You can make a mini sandbox filled with rice that they can play in with trucks or action figures. White rice isn't very exciting though. It is very easy to dye rice whatever colors you want using food coloring.

Approximate Time:



  1. Place 2 cups of rice into each bag.
  2. Add 5 pumps of hand sanitizer and 2-3 drops of food coloring.
  3. Zip the bag shut and shake the bag to coat the rice. Add additional food coloring to achieve the desired color. Repeat with each bag.
  4. Once you have finished coloring all of the bags, pour them into a large glass casserole pan or spread them out onto a large garbage bag. Allow the rice to completely dry, preferably overnight.

Ideas for using your rainbow play rice:

By lalala... from Port Orchard, WA

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March 24, 2005

A great "sandbox" for kids to use indoors is to fill a large plastic container with a bag of plain rice. Give them some measuring cups and funnels and they will play for hours!

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July 15, 2014

This rainbow play rice is great for sensory play. Watch this video and learn how to make it.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Can you "paint" with colored rice? Will the color stay on the rice when you add white glue? Thank you!

By Bonnie J



July 10, 20130 found this helpful

I used food coloring and dyed pasta, rice, and navy beans for my child to use for a kindergarten project two years ago and color stayed. We dyed one evening about 6ish, spread dyed items out on newspaper to dry and then the next day he used Elmer's school gule to color his project. It is still tacked to the bulletion board in his room today.

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