The Best Sensory Bin Filler

The Best Sensory Bin Filler

Want to know what THE CHAMPION of sensory bix filler is? 

(Or if you’re like, what the heck is a sensory bin? Click here!)


Rainbow Rice! Why? Because between the rice and food coloring, it comes in hot at about $2.50 at the Dollar Tree. Plus, it’s SUPER EASY to make! WIN-WIN!

Rainbow Rice is one of our all-time favorite sensory materials. You can take this simple sensory material and make it work for any age or stage!

Toddlers: Your toddler can play with the rice on its own for a great sensory activity.

Preschoolers: Can begin to match letters, while playing with the rice.

Kindergarteners: Can work on beginning sounds and phonics. 

But in case you’re wondering, your preschooler and kindergartener will also like time to explore the bin without any learning expectations too. 

How to make Rainbow Rice:

  1. Head over to the Dollar Tree and grab a couple of bags of rice and food coloring.
  2. Take the rice and pour it into either a ZipLock bag or tupperware container, I use a tupperware container for mine.
  3. Add a couple of drops of your food coloring. Any color you choose.
  4. Then shake it up so it covers the rice.
  5. Repeat for as many colors as you want to use. I chose all the colors of the rainbow.
  6. You can dump it in a tray or directly into your sensory bin. Then let it dry for about an hour or two.
  7. I added it all in order like a rainbow but as you know, KIDS, so it lasted maybe 20 seconds. Truth, I like it better all mixed up anyways!

Now for the fun part! 3 ways to play with Rainbow Rice:

  • Option 1: Add a few cups and funnels. Then let the kids play. They will create an image more with very little.
  • Option 2: Add letter magnets to the bin and invite your preschooler to match the letters to a piece of paper with all the letters.
  • Option 3: Add small toys to the bin and invite your preschooler to match them to letters based on their beginning sound.

2  common questions I get are:

  1. Does the Rainbow Rice stain your hands when you play with it? No, I only get dye on my hands if I touch it when wet. I tested it the day after I made it and 3 days later my son was playing with it and it did fine! Our hands remained dye free!
  2. How do you store it? I like to store it in an old jar or a plastic bag so you can use it over and over again for years to come!

New to sensory bins? Check out Sensory Bin 101 so that you can set up successful sensory bins at home!

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