Monthly Archives: August 2018

Rainbow rice sensory tray

Here is another idea for using coloured rice in a sensory tray from our summer festival fun at Belladrum. Follow our recipe for making coloured rice here . This time mix your bags of rice using different colours of food colouring in each bag and once dry lay them out in a rainbow pattern. (Yes we know this one isn’t in the right order for a rainbow! I’d like to say it was the kids that did it but it really wasn’t!)

It will ultimately end up all muddled together but that is part of the fun and the multicoloured mixture looks very pretty too. Perfect for using with ice cream scoops, or maybe try with cupcake cases to scoop it into, or hide multicoloured wooden blocks in it to seive out, or use it as the sprinkles on playdough cakes, or feed it to your unicorns….. Whatever you can think of.

The rice will keep for ages in an airtight bag or tub. As always adult supervision is required throughout to keep safe.

Sensory ocean tray with coloured rice

One of our festival activities this summer was a sensory tray filled with blue rice and lots of sea creatures and shells to go with the underwatre theme at Deershed Festival. All the children (and some of the big people) really loved the feel of this rice, playing at scooping it up and running it through their fingers. It’s great for making sensory trays if you have a little one who doesn’t really like things which feel gooey or wet.

Here is how you can make coloured rice easily at home.

You need:

white rice (the cheapest value stuff)

food colouring



Tip your rice into a ziplock bag then add in a splash of vinegar (preferably a clear kind) and a squirt of liquid food colouring or a little blob of colouring paste. You just need enough vinegar to help the colour mix through the rice and you can always add more if needed or more colour if it’s too pale.

You then need to squeeze it about in your bag till you have coated all of the rice in colour. Then you can either tip it onto a tray to air dry or, if you’re impatient like us, pop it in a really low oven. It might stick a bit as it dries but if you give it a squash around it separates out again nicely. It also doesn’t rub colour off if little ones have sticky hands which is the problem if you use paint instead of food colour. Some people add a drop of something that smells nice to take away the vinegar smell but we prefer just to leave it out for a while and a bit of a vinegary taste might stop nibblers anyway.

We did a few different combinations of blues and greens so that it looked nice when we mixed them all up together. You can store the rice in either an air tight tub or bag and it seems to last for ages. We have some that’s 6 months old and seems fine but usually we have spread it everywhere before it makes it that far. Luckily it’s easy to hoover up!

Add your rice to a big tray (like the kind you use for underbed storage) and add fish toys, shells, cups for scooping, boats, mermaids whatever you can think of. Have fun




As this is all non-toxic food stuff you don’t need to worry as much about little ones having a taste – and if they do have a nibble it tastes pretty yuck anyway so they shouldn’t do it again! As always though, this recipe is for playing together with your little one and needs to be fully supervised to keep it safe and avoid choking.

Art at the Start at Summer Festivals

We’ve been busy offering creative opportunities to little ones and their big people at Fesitivals this summer.

In July we were under the sea at Deershed Festival

and in August we were at Belladrum making animals in the Indian Jungle

We had a great time meeting lots of families and bringing some relaxing and creative  time to their festival experiences with a mixture of messy crafts and sensory play.


Our next post will explain how to make the cool blue rice you can see in our ocean sensory tray.