Coloring Rice

I’ve seen tutorials on how to color rice and pasta in the past, but I’ve never tried it because it seemed like a lot of work. After reading the directions at Sippy Cup Central I gave it a try. It was SO easy and it turned out great!
Materials: rice, ziplock bags, food coloring, rubbing alcohol, newspaper and plastic grocery bags
1) Put the plastic bags down to protect your counter and the newspapers on top of them to soak up the rubbing alcohol as the rice dries.

2) Put rice, a splash of rubbing alcohol, and a few drops of food coloring in a ziplock. I’m not sure on the exact measurements, but you can’t go wrong because the alcohol evaporates off of the rice as it dries.

3) Mix everything around in the bag and let them sit for awhile. From my experience, the longer you let the rice soak in the bag, the darker the color gets.
4) Dump the rice onto the newspaper and spread it out to dry. (In the picture above I did it wrong and had it on plastic bags and it wouldn’t dry without the newspapers soaking it up.)
5) After the rice is dry have fun scooping, pouring, and experimenting with funnels and different types of containers.
The official measurements for dying 1 pound of rice (Thanks Bonna!):
1 lb. of rice

1/2 tsp. of food coloring,
1 tsp of rubbing alcohol

You can also dye the rice with seasonal colors and use it in a sensory tub to search for and transfer little objects.  Short on time? Check out the sensory tubs at Time for Tots.


  1. says

    The measurements for dying 1 pound of rice:

    1 lb. of rice
    1/2 tsp. of food coloring
    1 tsp of rubbing alcohol

    Put the alcohol and food coloring in a bag together and add rice. Mix until all the color is absorbed. I have found that dumping the rice out on cookie sheets works really well. If it is a hot sun outside I put them outside to dry. Newspaper would work just as well. :)

    I love the money this saves me! My daycare children love this.

  2. Anonymous says

    Water Colors (like coloration from Discount School Supplies) works wonders also! Plus there is little to no drying time!
    Thanks for reminding me of how fun colored rice can be!

  3. says

    I like to dye rice for the children I teach. Another way I do it is use small containers which the children can then shake to colour the rice. I then put it on plastic trays and leave in the sun to dry =) I have used newspaper but found the rice got stuck to it – did you have this issue?

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