DIY Rainbow Rice Sensory Bin


–     Happy dance here!  We had no problems getting my son to love this dry rice bin.  His Occupational Therapist recommended dry play so we decided to  put together a rainbow rice sensory bin.  I figured I could go over colors with my two year-old, but then discuss rainbow formation and color order with my four-year old.  Sensory bin recipes are all over the internet.  My recipe is slightly tweaked to make more vibrant colors.

full rainbow sensory bin

You will need:


25 Lbs of Rice (This is for the 70 Qt Under Bed Bin)

2 Boxes of Food Coloring (one Neon Gel and One Liquid)

A Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol

Freezer Bags

Items for Play

We made one bag for each color of the rainbow and just divided the 25 lb bag by six.


TIP 1:  Check that your rice is truly dry before letting little ones play.  If it is not, you will have color on your palms.

angel rice
Green hands and rice mess….mom could not care less 🙂

TIP 2:  I will show you below, but I do wish I would have put a sheet down before we began.  A loved moving the rice out of the bin, which makes clean up harder.  I was also afraid dirt would get in the bin.  The bin can last for weeks with a cover.



–       Divide your rice into your freezer bags and add two full bottles of food coloring to each bag of rice; for example, one blue neon with one blue liquid.  Next add rubbing alcohol to seal it in place.  The rubbing alcohol does have a strong odor and I have seen others use vinegar.  The smell goes away after a day or two. It is unnecessary to measure the rubbing alcohol, you can eye ball it to make sure that the liquid is moving around the whole bag, just make sure that there is no excess liquid swishing around your bag, it is not needed.  I would start out with about 4 tbsp and go from there.  When you have the coloring and alcohol added, close your bag but make sure to leave air in the bag.  Double check the seal then use your hands to gently knead in the liquid.  When you have the color you desire, put your bags in a warm place with the bag open.  I put the bags in my garage for 12 hours to dry and then poured into the bin. I probably should have waited 24 hours.   Choose your favorite toys and enjoy!

I had no sooner rolled this outside to take a picture when A came running out to put his foot in the bin. This was a huge victory since it normally takes hours for him to even come near the bin. I had to snap a shot.

–     I see many more rice bins in our future.  I spent $8.75 on this bin and it will last for several weeks.  Well worth the money.



One thought on “DIY Rainbow Rice Sensory Bin

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