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Painted rice for children’s games and crafts 

In Sensory play for kids

How to paint rice for games and crafts 

Turn usual grain into a rainbow! Step-by-step master class on how to properly color rice with food dyes and ideas for using colored rice in sensory games and children’s art: applications, crafts, dry painting.

How to dye rice at home

If you want to get multi-colored cereals for sensory boxes, creativity and educational games, it is recommended to take long-grain white rice, it is harder and stronger.

We suggest three methods of coloring:

Coloring rice with food dyes. As a result, painted grains have a smooth surface and a rich bright color that does not tarnish over time.

Painting rice with gouache. As a result, the croup turns out to be rough and after active games loses its original color.

Painting with natural dyes. These are spinach juice, beets, turmeric, saffron. Naturally colored rice acquires only a light ebb, and making the color brighter is difficult.

For dyeing rice you need:



crockery or ziplock package;


essential oil (optional).

How to paint

Add a little dye to dry rice (not more than ½ tsp per 1 kg of cereals). The amount of dye will depend on the intensity of the color. Dry the dye previously diluted in a few drops of water. Do not add a lot of liquid: this can lead to swelling of the grits. Liquid and gel formulations (gouache) are not diluted with water. Stir the cereal thoroughly. For this, it is convenient to place the mass in a ziplock bag and shake it well.

If you mix it with a spoon in a bowl, in order to avoid painting of your hands, we recommend doing it with gloves.

After put the colored rice on a  sheet of paper and let it dry for several hours. During this time, the dye is absorbed and will not get dirty hands during the game.

If you want the rainbow mass has a pleasant smell, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil while mixing the ingredients.

Ideas for using colored rice

Colored rice is perfect as a filler for sensory boxes. These games will help the child to expand the tactile experience – kids will be able to touch, pour, explore, dig in, dig, search for toys. Using colored rice in applications and crafts, you diversify the creative process. These useful exercises with cereals contribute to the development of children fine motor skills.  Colored rice can be used to decorate the interior.

Drawing with colored rice

Drawing with colored rice is an interesting technique and wonderful leisure for small children. The surface of the picture of the grits is always obtained in relief.

Drawing with your finger over a layer of rice is the simplest technique of drawing with cereals for kids. Pour a layer of rice on a tray with sides, level it.  Let the kids draw with their fingers.  Drawing patterns develop children’s imagination and fine motor skills.

Drawing with “loose” grains – this technique is similar to drawing with sand.

Drawing with grains on modeling clay: cover the cardboard with a thin layer of it, fill the required parts of the picture with rice. It is possible to decorate the individual elements on the finished plasticine picture with a grain texture.