Rainbow Rice: A Kid’s Craft To Dye For

I’m always looking for little crafty projects to do with Annabelle, so I was really excited when I stumbled upon the blog Mama Papa Bubba.  The author of this sweet blog has tons of crafty ideas for things to do with your little love, including making sensory bins.  One of her sensory bin projects was making “rainbow rice.”  The first part of the project is dying the rice together, while the second part is letting your little one play with their colorful creation.  (She has tons of other ideas for sensory bins that you can check out here.)

I thought the rainbow rice sensory bin looked like something Annabelle would LOVE.  So while she was napping, I got everything ready.  First I dyed the water that we would use to dye the rice.  (To dye the rice I mixed 3 Tbs of water and food coloring for every one cup of rice.  I added drops of food coloring to the water until I got the color I was aiming for.  The author of Mama Papa Bubba dyed her rice a little differently, which you can read about here, but I ended up using basic food coloring and water, because it was what I had in the house.)

Once the colored water was ready, it was time to let Annabelle play.

I gave her a measuring cup, a big bowl of rice and a funnel and let her pour the rice into each mason jar.  Let me tell you, it was MESSY!  Rice was EVERYWHERE.  I think about half of every scoop she attempted to put in the funnel, ended up on the floor.  But, seriously, LOOK at how much fun she is having!

Oh, and, yes, she did attempt to eat the rice.  You can see a little piece of rice peeking out of the corner of her mouth after one of her MANY attempts.

Once the rice was in each jar, I shook it around until I got the color I wanted.  Annabelle did not seem particularly interested in the shaking part, she just wanted “More rice, please Mommy.  More rice!”

When all the rice was colored, we did a little photo shoot with Annabelle and her rainbow rice…

Then it was time to let the rice dry.  I lined pieces of cardboard with paper towels and poured out the rice, letting it dry for the afternoon in the sun.

Once dry I put it all back in mason jars, keeping the colors separate.

The next step was supposed to be letting Annabelle play with the rice, but I found this craft idea while I was planning her Sesame Street Birthday party, and thought I could use the rainbow rice to make some fun little centerpieces.  So I decided to hold off on letting her play with the rice until after her party…

I made the centerpieces using three square glass vases I had from a previous party.  I poured one cup of each color rice into the vases, making sure each layer was flat before adding the next.  The result was a little rainbow of rice.

Then, in each, I stuck in a Sesame Street character’s face and a number two that I found online, printed and colored in.  (Here’s a link to the Sesame Street Center Piece Images I used.)  And here’s the result of my (super cheap) centerpieces…

After her party, I put all the rice into one big Tupperware.  Since Annabelle got so many wonderful new toys from her friends and family for her birthday, we haven’t yet gotten around to playing with the rainbow rice.  But I’ll be sure to let you guys know how it goes when we do!!

UPDATE: Check out Annabelle playing with her Rainbow Rice HERE.

P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like: Sunny Day: Annabelle’s Sesame Street Themed 2nd Birthday Party

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  1. What a CUTE, fun I dea! I adore the centerpieces!!!

  2. Thanks, Mindy!

  3. It all looked so pretty at the party – and from the photos I can see that Annabelle had a ball doing this with you. She will have a lot of great memories of “crafting” with her mommy!

  4. LOVE the idea of using the rice in centrepieces! So creative!

  5. Hi. Can you tell me where online did you get the sesame street and number cut-outs?

  6. This is an awesome idea! Might need to snag it for my wedding centerpieces! We are going for a bit more of a whimsical type look and I think that would be something different! :) Thanks for sharing the updated pics of your little girl because I missed this the first time around!

  7. Does anyone know if you can cook and eat the rainbow rice ? Can’t seem to find anything online about it.

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