How to Color Rice for Learning and Crafts

Colored rice is a staple in this homeschooling Mama’s manipulative arsenal.

Montessori transferring activities, craft projects, lessons on color, weight and volume are just a few ideas colored rice can be used in.

I spent an hour last week whipping up new batches to use in our homeschooling this month.


The whole process is cheap and easy. My kinda fun.

I used regular rubbing alcohol. There are other ways using just plain water and even vinegar.

I chose alcohol because the rice dries quicker using this technique.


In a quart sized mason jar (you could also use a baggie) I added 2 teaspoons of the rubbing alcohol and some food coloring. You can use gel coloring or the usual liquid coloring.


You could even go with a more natural approach and use beet puree to produce a nice pink for your rice.


Into that 2 teaspoons of alcohol and coloring, add about 1 cup of rice. Close off your container and shake. Continue shaking until all of your rice is the color you have chosen.

I lined my jelly roll pans with paper towels, and then spread out my colored rice. I left it there until it was dry enough to put into jars.


You can stick with single colors, or mix your food colorings to create specialty colors.


Wonder how I get stuff like this done with a certain Brave Hero on the loose? I bribe one of my older kids to engage Parker in various learning activities.

Or wrassle our Hero to the floor and put a newly learned wrestling move on him.

Whatever works best.


Our colored rice rainbow. Kinda pretty don’t ya think?

What kind of homemade manipulatives do YOU create?

PS:  If you are interested, I’ll share the activities we do with our colored rice!

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