The Best Colored Rice with Food Coloring

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Food coloring + dry rice = a match made in heaven! Here’s how to make colored rice with food coloring your kids will love to play with.

In this post you’ll learn how to make colored rice. I took a picture of the rice, but I decided to delete it. It was too grainy! In all seriousness, I love rice! I love to cook it, eat it, and I love coloring it for my kids to play with.

If you don’t have food coloring, check out my post about dying rice with acrylic paint.

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Rice is a wonderful base for sensory play. You can add mini figurines, rocks, leaves, cups, bowls, toys, cars, dinosaurs, baking supplies, dolls, and just about whatever else you’d like. The possibilities are endless when we talk about colored rice. It’s amazing!

A sensory tray with rainbow colored rice.

Colored Rice with Food Coloring Recipe


2 cups of rice

2 tbsp. vinegar

Food coloring (I use Wilton gel food coloring- it gives it more vibrant color, but any kind will work)

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple colored rice.


  1. Pour 2 cups of rice into a ziplock bag
  2. Add in vinegar and a few drops of food coloring
  3. Close the bag and shake until the rice is evenly coated.
  4. Put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Let it dry for one hour and then it’s ready to use!
Food coloring being added to a ziplock bag of rice.

Educational Ideas:

  • Have your kids use the rice to spell letters of the alphabet
  • Draw their numbers on a cookie sheet full of rice
  • Sort multi-colored rice into individual colors
My children's hands mixing the rainbow rice together.

FAQs about Colored Rice

What do you do with the rice after it’s been played with?

I store it in ziplock bags in a bin and put it in my craft closet.

What kind of rice do you use for sensory bins?

I use long grain white rice, but any kind of rice will work!

How do you dye rice for sensory play without vinegar?

Add rice to a ziplock bag. Squirt some non-toxic acrylic paint in it. Add just a little, because you can always add more. Put some hand sanitizer in the bag. Shake it and mix it very well. Lay it out on a cookie sheet or parchment paper to dry for an hour. Play!

My children playing with rainbow rice.

More Like This:

How do dye pasta with acrylic paint

Easy homemade play dough sensory kits

Edible dirt for sensory play

My favorite easy homemade play dough recipe

Closeup of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple rice mixed together.

Final Thoughts on The Best Colored Rice with Food Coloring:

I hope you like our homemade colored rice as much as I do! Let me know what you think in the comments.

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