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Colouring Rice for Sensory Play (paint vs. food colouring)

Updated: Dec 14, 2021

Rice is a great, inexpensive base for your sensory bins and it's so easy to colour!




I decided to experiment with the top methods I found online for colouring rice and pasta.


1) food colouring and vinegar

2) acrylic paint



For 1 cup of rice, I used a tablespoon of vinegar and 18-20 drops of food colouring. I didn't measure the paint, so here's a photo.



Both methods mixed easily and quickly, but the acrylic paint spread through the rice more evenly. They took about the same amount of time to dry. And honestly, they both had a potent, disgusting smell for a few hours. Luckily the smell dissipated pretty quickly.


You could use the rice after 30-60 minutes, but I left mine sit over night.



So which one worked better?


Food Colouring Review

The food colouring and vinegar mixed into the rice easily, and dried quickly. There was a strong vinegar smell for a a few hours. I didn't get super vibrant colours, but it is great for a non-toxic option.


Acrylic Paint Review

The paint spread really easily and made the rice really vibrant colours. Great for sealed sensory bottles and sensory bins for older kids who aren't likely to try putting some in their mouth!



Green rice makes a great "grass" base for your sensory bins! A few toy farm animals and tractors, or insects, and you've got a super easy, cute sensory bin. If you can make extra green rice, you'll thank yourself later.


This time I mixed the red and green for a Christmas theme sensory bin.



Have you tried another method? I would love to hear what you tried and how it worked!


@Prairiemamasblog on Instagram!


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