How To Dye Rice (and other materials) for Sensory Play

We’ve all seen those fun sensory bins with the multi-colored rice or pasta. And they look so fun, but who really wants to spend $50 for a bag of colored rice? (That’s how much it was last time I looked on Amazon). So after looking through several recipes on Pinterest, I combined what I liked about those and made a recipe works best for us. Here’s how to dye taste-safe sensory materials:

What you need:

  • Sensory material (rice or pasta works well)
  • White vinegar
  • Food coloring
  • Zip lock bags
  • Baking sheet
  • Paper towels

Now here’s what you do:

  1. Divide materials into plastic bags (1 bag for each color). I usually put about 1 cup of each material into the bag. Also, this is a great part for littles to help with. My big girl loved scooping the materials with her hands and transfering them to the bags.
  2. Add 1-2 Tablespoons Vinegar to each bag along with 10-20 drops of food coloring, depending on how dark you want the color.
  3. Zip up bags and shake. This is another good step for little helpers. Shake until sensory material is well coated.
  4. Lay paper towels out on baking sheet, then spread your sensory material out on the paper towels.
  5. Allow to dry about 3-4 hours.
  6. Transfer to sensory bin or storage container. I found that pasta may stick a little to the paper towel, but can easily be picked off. However rice came off no problem.

7. Finally have fun with your new colorful sensory bin!

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