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How To Make Quick Coloured Rice For Rainbow Sensory Bins

Rice is not just for dinner! It can be used in so may different activities in the classroom. Coloured rice is perfect for teaching number recognition!

How to make coloured rice


Coloured Rice Fun

Coloured rice can be used for hundreds of activities including filling, pouring, measuring, matching colours, making music and art as well as random play for kids. Coloured rice isn’t just nice to look at it is a great way to build sensory and fine motor skills. What’s more it is so simple to make!

Download this no cook recipe for perfect coloured rice and grab a free sorting printable for number recognition to go with it at the end of this post!

Benefits of Rice Play

Preschoolers, kindergarten students and toddlers learn best through ‘hands-on’ experiences. Rice play is an easy activity to set-up that gets kids using all their senses.

During rice play, your kids will work on their pincer grip, and hand-eye coordination. These are helpful for building strength for handwriting later on at school.


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Sensory Play

Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child’s senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing. This type of play encourages exploration and naturally encourages children to use scientific processes and their five senses to explore and make sense of the world around them.

Sensory play is an important part of early childhood development, providing opportunities for children to actively use their senses as they explore their world is crucial to brain development.

As adults, our senses provide us with vital information that we use to inform decision making throughout the day. We may take this ability for granted and barely notice it, but it’s for this reason that helping children to learn about their own senses is so important.

  • Sensory play encourages children to manipulate and mould materials, building up their fine motor skills and coordination.
  • Sensory play uses all 5 senses children process  information through their senses and learn through exploring these.
  • Sensory play is unstructured, not  product-oriented; it is the purest sense of exploratory learning.
  • Language development- experimenting with language and trying new words.


Rainbow Coloured Rice Supplies

Organise your supplies.

How To Make coloured rice equipment

  • Uncooked Rice
  • Vibrant Food Colouring
  • White Vinegar
  • Zip Lock Bags
  • Container
  • Paper Towel
  • Recycled meat trays
  • Food Flavouring (Peppermint, orange, strawberry, chocolate, optional)


Add 2 cups of uncooked rice to a ziplock bag.

Measure rice into bags


Add a generous glug (1-2tsp) of colouring. The more colour you add the more vivid the rice.Add 1tsp of white vinegar and food flavouring if you want to add an aroma.  Close the bag and scrunch until the colour is evenly mixed. Your kids might like to do this bit!



Add colour to rice

Line the recycled meat tray with kitchen paper and pour out rice to dry out. We left it overnight to make sure it was dry!

Dry coloured rice on paper towel


Repeat using a range of colours!

Different colours of coloured rice




Store the rice in the ziplock bag. To use in sensory play we poured the rice into a cat litter tray from the dollar shop! Add letters, numbers, animals… whatever you want!

Sensory Rice Bin


Try your Coloured Rice for number sorting. Add letters, numbers and shapes for your kids to sort. Use our FREE think board template as a sorting mat. Get it here…

Numbers and letters sorting coloured Rice Bin

number sorting & DIY coloured rice

For more Sensory Bin Ideas Check these Out…



Click Image To See Our Products…

I Spy Number Recognition Games
Roll, Dot & Write Number Facts To 30 Game
Number Recognition Bundle

Don’t forget to print off the instructions for your Teacher Hack File!

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Teaching Number Recognition

Teaching Number Recognition


Number Sorts Think Board

Number Sort Think Board

Measurement Curriculum Cheat Sheet

NonStandard Measurement & The Messy Measuring Box!

Print Recipe
How To Make Coloured Rice
EASY DIY Rainbow coloured rice for sensory bins, craft and calming jars. Make it in 3 easy steps!
Numbers and letters sorting coloured Rice Bin
Cuisine Non Edible
Keyword classroom, quick
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0
Passive Time 2 hours
Cuisine Non Edible
Keyword classroom, quick
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0
Passive Time 2 hours
Numbers and letters sorting coloured Rice Bin
  1. Pour 2 cups of uncooked rice into a zip lock bag
  2. Add 2-4 tsp food colouring (more colouring makes a brighter rice). Add 1tsp white vinegar.
  3. Zip up bag and scrunch rice until the colour coats the rice evenly.
  4. Pour rice onto paper towel and leave to dry out.
Recipe Notes

Now it's over to you creative educators our there!

Please Share your ideas on how you will use DIY Rainbow Rice in the Classroom! Go on we'd love to know!

Click Try Our Number Recognition Freebies!

20 fun and free activities for teaching number recognition

The A Plus Teacher has been a Primary School Numeracy Curriculum Leader and Coach for 16 years and now advisors A Plus Teaching Resources about Teaching Numeracy

The A+ Team is Passionate About helping educators to save time so that they can concentrate on the most important job in the world… Teaching! The Team Creates Time Saving, Tried & Tested, Hands-on, Teaching Resources, Ideas, Organisers, Checklists, Printables, Posters, & Games!

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Try our DIY coloured Rice for hands on activities with your kids. It is so easy to make, once you know how to make rainbow rice you can use it including Sensory Bins, Calm Down Bottles, I spy Jars, and in filling, pouring, measuring, sorting, making music activities. Get instructions & FREE Activity on our website!

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