Colored Rice for Sensory Bins

Oooooh lookit me bein’ all crafty! Hahaha! Actually this recipe is super easy – all it takes is patience, rubbing alcohol, and liquid food coloring.


JI loves playing with his rice bin. It’s just a big Gladware container, I think a gallon (?), with rice and scoops. Totally simple, totally free!!! 

Here we go:

  • 1# rice, divided into 7 bowls
  • Red, Yellow, and Blue liquid food coloring (note: if you don’t let your kid have artificial dye, you might want to use all natural dyes, but I cannot attest to the colorfastness or if it will even work the same)
  • Rubbing alcohol

After you divide your rice, add 2T rubbing alcohol to each bowl, and then use the following chart to make each color of the rainbow.

  • Red: 5 drops red
  • Orange: 2 drops red, 3 drops yellow
  • Yellow: 3 drops yellow
  • Green: 2 drops blue, 3-4 drops yellow
  • Blue: 3 drops blue
  • Purple: 3 drops red, 2 drops blue
  • (I left one bowl of plain white for the heck of it!)wpid-20150505_181936_20150505182613677.jpg

After you’ve mixed the rice/alcohol/dye very well and all grains are completely coated, carefully (read: don’t touch!) pour each color onto a cookie sheet and let dry 24 hours. I put mine in the oven overnight, because I knew I wasn’t going to be cooking and it kept the rice away from the cats! Seriously though, DO NOT TURN THE OVEN ON WITH THE RICE INSIDE because rubbing alcohol is flammable, and could potentially start a fire.

Okay so the next day, when the rice has dried completely, dump it all together into a lidded container and shake it up. Let junior go at it, and get ready to sweep when it is all over. *wink*
Note: This rice is NOT edible! Watch your kids!

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