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Rice Sensory Play


Are you looking for a fun and engaging sensory activity for your little ones? Look no further than playing with coloured rice!

This simple yet versatile activity is a great way to develop your child’s fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and creativity.




What do I need to play?

The best part about playing with coloured rice is that you only need a few basic materials:

  • Rice (white or brown)
  • Food colouring
  • Ziplock bags or containers for dyeing the rice
  • Baking trays or large flat surfaces for drying the rice
  • Sensory bins or trays for playing with the rice
  • Various tools for scooping, pouring, and manipulating the rice (e.g., spoons, funnels, cups, etc.)


Setting Up the Game

  1. Start by dyeing the rice in a ziplock bag or container. Add a few drops of food colouring and shake the bag or container until the rice is evenly coated. For a more vibrant colour, add more food colouring. Let the rice dry on a baking tray or large flat surface for a few hours.
  2. Once the rice is dry, transfer it to a sensory bin or tray. Encourage your child to explore the rice by using various tools to scoop, pour, and manipulate it.
  3. Use this as an opportunity to introduce new vocabulary to your child, such as “grains,” “pour,” and “scoop.” Ask open-ended questions to encourage their creativity and imagination, such as “What can you make with the rice?” or “What does the rice feel like?”


Rules of the game

There are no set rules when it comes to playing with coloured rice – the possibilities are endless! However, you can add some structure to the activity by introducing some simple games or challenges:

  • Hide and Seek: Bury small objects (e.g., toy animals, small blocks) in the rice and have your child search for them.
  • Sorting: Provide your child with different coloured rice and ask them to sort the rice by colour or shape.
  • Counting: Use the rice as a tactile way to introduce counting to your child. Have them count out a certain number of grains, or ask them to find a specific number of objects hidden in the rice.


Variations of the game

Playing with coloured rice can be easily adapted to suit different ages and interests. Here are some variations you can try:

  • Scented Rice: Add a few drops of essential oils to the rice to create a sensory experience for your child.
  • Rainbow Rice: Dye the rice in a variety of colours to create a rainbow effect.
  • Ocean Rice: Add blue and green food colouring to the rice to create an ocean-themed sensory bin.


Tips for Success

  • Start with a small amount of rice, as it can be messy and difficult to clean up if spilled.
  • Use a large tray or sheet to catch any spills or messes.
  • Encourage your child to play with the rice in different ways, such as pouring it from one container to another or burying objects in it.
  • Supervise your child at all times, especially if they are young and still exploring the world through their mouths.



Playing with coloured rice is a fun and engaging sensory activity that can be easily adapted to suit different ages and interests. By providing your child with a variety of tools and challenges, you can help them develop their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and creativity. So why not give it a try!