Did you catch my post a few weeks ago on how to find success with dyed rice sensory bins? This post will give you tips on rice sensory bins, as well as our favorite tools for rice play. Today, I wanted to share how to make the dyed rice! Here’s my tried and true recipe plus some tips! This rice is taste-safe but does not mean it should be eaten by the handful.
1 cup dry rice
1 tablespoon vinegar
Lots of food coloring! Liquid or Gel
Wax paper/ parchment paper/ tin foil (optional but nice to have)
Place the rice and vinegar in a plastic sandwich bag. Squirt in lots of food coloring. The more food coloring, the deeper and better the color will turn out.
Shake the bag until the coloring is evenly spread through the rice!
Spread the rice on a sheet pan to dry. I like to cover my pan with parchment paper (or something similar) to keep the pan cleaner. If this isn’t possible, it’s fine to place the rice directly on the pan. In my experience, it has always washed off with a little soap and water
*The thinner you spread the rice, the faster it will dry.
*For an even faster dry time, put in the oven on the lowest setting. If it’s a sunny day, place outside to dry.
After about 30 minutes, you will have to break up chunks of rice that stick together.
The rice is dry once you can run your fingers through it and it doesn’t leave a residue of color on your fingers.
Use the 1:1 ratio for rice and vinegar. You can do 2 cups of rice, 2 Tbs vinegar, and so on…
The sandwich bag is a great way for kids to get involved in making the rice, they do great at mixing up the color into the rice!
HOWEVER, we’ve had our fair share of little fingers puncture the ziplock bag, sending rice everywhere and food coloring places you don’t want. Teach your kids to mix the bag with flat hands and rub, like this!
If you’re looking to use less plastic, a glass bowl and spoon work great to mix as well. Make sure to rinse and dry the bowl and spoon before starting another color so you don’t mix colors.
Store in a gallon Ziploc bag or tupperware container.
The rice smells strongly of vinegar for a time. Leave the baggie or container open all day or through the night to get rid of the smell before sealing and storing. Once the vinegar smell goes away, I have never found the strong smell to come back.
The rice can last for years and years stored in an airtight container!