Blue Rice Sensory Tub

 
 
 
We had lots of fun and spent a lot of time exploring a simple Blue Rice Sensory Tub!

(E was 26 months old.)



 

For our Blue Rice Sensory Tub, we used:

  • Blue rice.
  • Plastic storage box.
  • Smaller plastic bowls.
  • Basic kitchen utensils.
  • Bottle cap.
  • Duplo flower.

This was a really basic sensory tub that focused on exploring our very first batch of blue rice.

 



How to make colored rice:

  • Place dry rice in a Ziploc bag.
  • Add food coloring, either liquid or powdered.
  • Add vinegar. {You can use rubbing alcohol instead but I prefer to keep it completely safe to eat, since E does still take a bite here and there.}
  • Move the rice around until it’s completely covered in food coloring.
  • Let it sit until most of the moisture has been absorbed (or until the rice has reached the desired shade).
  • Remove the rice from the bag and allow to dry.

 

 

 

I always use powdered food coloring because it’s the best I can easily get around here. For our first few batches, I added some water but I’ve since stopped doing that and now just rely on the vinegar to dissolve the food coloring. You just want enough liquid in there to allow the rice to be covered in food coloring. Everything beyond that just increases the time it takes to dry.

After drying, the texture of the rice will be the same as it was before you started, only the color will be different.



 

This was our first proper sensory tub with colored rice, and I kept it quite basic to allow E to focus on the new material.

I’d actually made two batches of blue rice but the first thing E did while I was setting up our Blue Rice Sensory Tub was pour her glass of pineapple juice into one batch, so I put it back in a dry spot, and we made do with the remaining batch 😉 {The juice didn’t hurt the rice at all, btw. Once it had dried again, it was just the same as before.}

We started out with the blue rice inside a smaller bowl inside the big plastic box

 

We had lots of fun and spent a lot of time exploring a simple Blue Rice Sensory Tub!
 

but that didn’t last long, and the smaller bowl came out of the box.

There was lots of transferring,

 

We had lots of fun and spent a lot of time exploring a simple Blue Rice Sensory Tub!
 
 
We had lots of fun and spent a lot of time exploring a simple Blue Rice Sensory Tub!
 

getting a new perspective on things,

 

We had lots of fun and spent a lot of time exploring a simple Blue Rice Sensory Tub!
 

and of course pouring – one of E’s favorite activities.

 

We had lots of fun and spent a lot of time exploring a simple Blue Rice Sensory Tub!
 
 
We had lots of fun and spent a lot of time exploring a simple Blue Rice Sensory Tub!
 

After a while, she dumped out all the rice and played with it right on the table.

 

We had lots of fun and spent a lot of time exploring a simple Blue Rice Sensory Tub!
 
 
We had lots of fun and spent a lot of time exploring a simple Blue Rice Sensory Tub!
 

E thoroughly enjoyed exploring the blue rice and remained focused on it for about 40 minutes!

We ended up with lots of rice {and a bowl} on the floor,

 

We had lots of fun and spent a lot of time exploring a simple Blue Rice Sensory Tub!
 
and E cleaned up most of it herself.
 
 
We had lots of fun and spent a lot of time exploring a simple Blue Rice Sensory Tub!

 

 

 

Additional suggestions:

  • You can add as few or as many tools and additional items as you’d like.
  • Or don’t offer any tools at all at first and wait for your child to come up with ideas on what she wants to use.

 

 

 

Have you colored your own rice before? How have you played with it? Leave me a comment below and tell me all about it!

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Tina, thank you for a brilliant idea! I definitely want to try it at home!
    How much vinegar did you put in your rice?

    1. Hi Ryma, I’m so glad you like it! I only use a small amount of vinegar, just enough to get powdered food coloring wet. If you use liquid food coloring or liquid watercolors, you may not need any vinegar at all. You don’t want the rice to get too wet, it doesn’t have a benefit and just adds to the drying time. Let me know how it works out for you!
      Have a great day,
      -Tina