Rainbow Rice Sensory Activity

Sensory projects are the perfect activity to focus and calm children. In addition to creating sensory bins, an activity using a variety of materials that children can manipulate with their hands is also a fun after-school or weekend craft. This rainbow rice sensory activity is a quick and easy project, plus you can use the rice in a sensory bin as well! Here’s how it works: 

Rice Rainbow Sensory

To make the rice:

For each color, do the following:

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/2 packet kool aid/powdered drink mix
  • Sandwich bag
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Tape


  1. Put 1 cup of rice into sandwich bag. Add 1/2 packet of Kool aid powder mix and one cap-full of rubbing alcohol. Seal bag and tape closed. Shake bag for 30 seconds until all rice is colored. Pour out onto paper towel And spread out. (Dries in less than an hour.)
  2.  Repeat for each color. When dry (doesn’t stick together anymore) put in individual containers (i.e. sandwich bags). The rice will now look great, feel nice and smell awesome! 

Colorful rice

To make a rice rainbow:

Use cardstock paper and liberally apply white glue into thick strips, one at-a-time. Add one rice color to each stripe of glue and pat down gently. Wait 30 seconds and lift up the paper to shake off excess rice. (Tip:  Save excess in sandwich bag to make “confetti” or “sprinkles” for another project!)

Rice rainbow feature

What are your favorite sensory activities for kids? Share in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook!


  1. Hi we don’t have cool-aid in Australia – any suggestions what alternatives could be used?

  2. Would food coloring work the same way? (Without the delightful smell of course!)

    • Yes- food coloring and a cap full of rubbing alcohol would work in the plastic bag as well. (It works with uncooked pasta, too!)