Baby Play with Rice

I’d always thought that babies can’t do sensory activities until they’re able to sit up. Turns out there’s plenty to do while they’re on their tummies!

N did a beautiful sensory activity with Christmas Lights recently, and he had a blast with this activity:ย Baby Play with Rice!


Super simple sensory baby play with a tray full of rice!

(N was almost 6 months old.)

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Materials for Baby Play with Rice:

  • Rice.
  • Cookie sheetย or tray.
  • Shower liner or towel to put underneath the tray.
  • Plastic spoon (optional).
  • Plastic lid (optional).


I actually wasn’t sure if rice was going to be okay for babies to play with, but Fun at Home with Kids’ Super Easy Sensory Play: Rice Play post encouraged me to give it a try – and I’m so glad I did!

The first time I set up this activity for N, he was definitely interested but only for about 2 minutes, when he decided he’d rather eat the shower liner.

About a week later, I tried again. This time, between the rice and the shower liner, and with some interaction from Oma and me, N stayed engaged for just over 20 minutes!

I put down a shower liner to protect the floor, but a towel or a blanket will do – or even nothing at all, since rice vacuums up so easily.

N immediately grabbed the spoon


Super simple sensory baby play with a tray full of rice!


and then the plastic lid, and hugged them to his chest ๐Ÿ™‚


Super simple sensory baby play with a tray full of rice!


He got back to playing with the lid a little at the end (see video below) but mostly, he ignored both the spoon and the lid after this.

He explored the rice with this hands


Super simple sensory baby play with a tray full of rice!


but of course the shower liner was still fascinating as well, and he spent a lot of time with one hand in the rice and the other holding the shower liner ๐Ÿ™‚


Super simple sensory baby play with a tray full of rice!


Here’s a video of some of what he did:



Oma came over and dropped some rice on the cookie sheet for him, but that didn’t really capture his attention. He was too busy doing his own exploration.


Super simple sensory baby play with a tray full of rice!


At one point, he rolled over and cuddled up to the shower liner, and I thought he was done. However, he soon rolled back on his tummy and tried to get to the rice again. He played for another ten minutes after that.


Super simple sensory baby play with a tray full of rice!


In this short video, he’s tossing the lid around a bit, but you can tell he was getting tired, and we finished up right after this.



Have you and your baby tried sensory play? What’s your baby’s favorite sensory material? Leave a comment below!ย 



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  1. Loved this idea and tried it with my 6 month old son Dexter.
    But unfortunately it wasn’t a succes. ๐Ÿ™ He barely even looked at the rice, he just grabbed a handful and tried to put it in his mouth. ๐Ÿ™

    1. N definitely tasted some rice, too, but mostly, he preferred exploring it with his hands. Maybe Dexter can try again in a little while? The great thing about rice as a sensory material is that even if it gets a little wet, you can just let it dry and it’s ready to go again ๐Ÿ™‚

      In the meantime, you could check out my Baby Play Activities page for something else Dexter likes!

  2. I was wondering because I have the impression it isn’t… is the rice cooked? Since we are talking about babies who are 6 months or a little under and well they put their little hands and everything else in their mouths? I worry because I want to try this I’m a teacher, early education I teach what you would call mommy and me classes and I wanted to know since you mention sound and the post you link says it’s ok as long it’s not wet it can keep for a while, could you please clear that to me? And if you just cooked it like normal rice or if you dind’t add anything at all just rice boiled with water, please a little help ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you can answer soon. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Malena, we used plain uncooked rice. I imagine you could use cooked rice if you prefer, although it would have a greater potential for getting messy and sticky. N didn’t eat the rice but of course he touched it and felt it with his lips. We didn’t have any problems at all.
      If you’re not comfortable with trying this in a larger group, maybe you can find some alternatives on my Baby Play Activities page. Possibly First Baby Play with Water, or maybe Baby Play with Soap Foam?
      Either way, let me know how it goes!