Rainbow rice is a great sensory play activity for toddlers. It is incredibly easy to create and clean up is a cinch. We have made rainbow rice on many occasions. My son enjoys helping to mix the colors and then spends hours playing with the rice.

For each color you wish to create place the following in a ziplock bag:

1 cup of rice. White or brown both work well.

1 tablespoon of vinegar

A few drops of food coloring.

Seal the bag and mix the rice until it is fully coated with color. Lay the rice out on parchment paper and let dry overnight. This allows the color to set, and you will not end up with color bleeding all over carpets and little hands. You can speed up this process by using the oven on a very low setting.

When the rice is ready, place it into a plastic tub and let your children play to their hearts content. The under bed tubs with lids work very well, it allows ample space to play and makes for easy storage.

There are many ways that you can utilize rainbow rice. Some ideas are listed below:

  • You can use cups to encourage toddlers to sort and pour.
  • Small rakes are wonderful for making patterns within the rice.
  • Hide objects and let your child use small scoops or spades to find them.
  • Let your child sit in, stand in, and throw rice up in the air and just enjoy running it through their fingers.
  • You can add a few drops of Sweet Orange or Lavender Essential oil when making the rice for a calming effect.

A vacuum makes for easy clean up on any surface, but I do find that this activity tends to be messier on carpeted areas.  I highly suggest putting down a large cloth to gather any stray rice.

With winter well on its way, I hope that this activity will help brighten up some of those dull winter days.

What are some of your favorite indoor activities with small children?