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Rainbow Rice Bags – Sensory Play

Bright, colourful, no mess, and fun – sensory play with rainbow coloured rice in zip lock bags.

We have a few activities planned for the rainbow coloured rice but the exploration play began here with the rainbow coloured rice bags.

What you will need?

You will need 12 cups of rice (2 cups per bag), food colouring (alternatively you can use paint to colour the rice), sandwich zip lock bags and a container with a secure lid.

Miss 4 and 5 helped me make the rainbow rice bags by pouring two cups of rice into a plastic container with a secure lid, adding a decent amount of colouring and shaking it up until all the colouring is mixed through.  We added more colouring if needed and put the coloured rice into a zip lock bag.  Then we washed out the container ready for the next colour and rice.

Let’s Play 

Something that really grabbed my girl’s attention was the smell of the rice bags, they loved it!  We had used jasmine rice and it smelt beautiful which was great for adding to the sensory experience!

Let’s Learn 

Great for tossing up into the air and feeling the rice move and slide around inside the bag.

Ordering and sequencing the colours to mimic that of a rainbow, using the two rainbow songs to help with the correct order.

Find rainbow song lyrics here:

All the Colours of the Rainbow

I Can Sing a Rainbow

Let’s Explore 

That’s what sensory play is all about – Exploring through touch, squishing and feeling around all the textures of the rice in a zip lock bag.

Sensory play with rainbow rice bags has many learning benefits:

  • Sensory play encourages children to manipulate and mould materials, building up their fine motor skills and coordination.
  • Sensory play uses all 5 senses, but the sense of touch is often the most frequent. Toddlers and children process  information through their senses. They learn through exploring these.
  • Sensory play is unstructured, not  product-oriented; it is the purest sense of exploratory learning.
  • Self-esteem: sensory play offers kids the opportunity for self-expression because there is no right answer and children feel safe to change or experiment with what they are doing.
  • Language development- experimenting with language and trying new words.
  • Great for learning colours and sequence of colours in a rainbow.

Other ideas for using the Rainbow Rice:

Rice Rainbows in a Cup

Rainbow Rice & Bottle Tops

10 thoughts on “Rainbow Rice Bags – Sensory Play”

    1. Sorry Sue, this is probably something I should have mentioned in the post. We put the slightly dampened coloured rice straight into the zip lock bags and they seemed fine to dry in there. Have fun!!

  1. Love this idea and have stocked up on my rice and food colouring … just wondering what the paint is for as you dont mention it during the mixing stage 🙂
    Thanks – this is an awesome site …

  2. I was wondering the same as the previous person who asked…..when do you add the paint, and is the paint colored to match the food coloring? Maybe the paint ingredient was a mistaken ingredient?Thanks for your prompt reply.

  3. Hi there!

    Love your ideas, and your rainbow colored rice. Would mind telling me how you got your lovely purple and orange colors?
    When I added red and blue dye to some rice, I got some red rice, and some blue rice, and some grey rice.
    (When I tried to make purple playdoh, and mixed equal amounts of red and blue food dye to it, it made it grey pllaydoh – ugh. )
    What steps and proportions did you use, or did you use paint for those colors?

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Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

My name is Janice and I am an Early Childhood Teacher in Australia.

I have a strong passion and love for teaching and creating meaningful learning experiences for my students. What I love most is watching children discover in those amazing light bulb moments. I hope Learning4kids brings you some useful ideas.

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