Andrea Mulder-Slater: The Art of Childhood


Kitchen Art: Let's Make Multicoloured Rainbow Rice

Plus 6 Things to Do with Your Stash

Sure, rainbow rice is fantastic when it comes to sensory play, and games but it is also a terrific material to use when creating works of art.

A number of years ago, my friend Sharon came up with a clever way to keep her two children occupied. She dyed some rice a variety of different colours, threw it into a storage bin with a bunch of small toys and let the children have at it. It was like a giant game of I Spy that never, ever ended. Of course I had to try it too and when I did, my kiddo dove in with both hands (and feet).

Sure, rainbow rice is fantastic when it comes to sensory play and games but it is also a terrific material to use when creating works of art.

Multicoloured Rainbow Rice Recipe and Project Ideas


  • A bag of (uncooked) white rice.
  • Vinegar.
  • Food colouring.


Separate your bag of rice into several zip-close bags. Fold the edges of the bags outwards to make them stand up.

Separate your rice into bags.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar to each bag of rice.

Add the vinegar.

Add one or two drops of food colouring.

Add food colouring.

Make sure the bags are zipped closed and squish, squish, squish or shake, shake, shake.

Squish or shake the bags.

Empty the dyed rice onto plates and leave to dry for several hours - overnight if you can. Or, spread it out on a parchment paper lined tray in the oven, at low heat, until dry.

Let the rice dry.

Once dry, you can use the rice to make a variety of really cool art projects and activities including...

1) Sensory Bins

Give little hands something to search for in a bin of multicoloured rice. Try matching toys to rice colours.

Rice sensory bin.

Source: Andrea Mulder-Slater

2) Textural Rice Hearts

Make delightful hearts using various shades of red and pink rice.

Textured Rice Hearts

Source: Powerful Mothering

3) Raised Rainbows

Teach kids about the colours of the rainbow by using multicoloured rice.

Rice rainbow.

Source: See Mom Click/Feels Like Home

4) Bottle Art

Layer different colours of rice in bottles for a unique gift!

Rainbow rice bottles

Source: Plain Vanilla Mom

5) Rainbow Rice Spirals

Have fun with glue as you make a wild spiral picture. This is a great way to use up the rice once it's all been mixed together.

Rainbow rice spiral picture.

Source: Powerful Mothering

6) I Spy Game

Pour rice into a bottle, add some letter beads (and/or other small toys and objects) and play a game of I Spy. Write some words for your kids to find and turn the activity into an educational experience.

Make your own I Spy game.

Source: You Clever Monkey

Incidentally, Sharon says this stuff lasts forever. But she also cautions, "If you get it wet, it's just gross."

Have you made rainbow rice? How do you use it?

Have fun and keep creating!

 RELATED: Nature-Based Art Activities for Kids