St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect opportunity for a DIY rainbow rice sensory bin! Kids will love to stimulate their senses with different textures, colors and fine motor sensory bin accessories. It’s super easy with these steps and the help of Learning Resources Tri Grip Tongs and Learning Resources Squeezy Tweezers , which conveniently are rainbow colors!  This activity is great for families looking for any opportunity to engage their kiddos through play, or as a sensory center in any day care or classroom! I’ll even share some inspiration for how to differentiate it for higher leveled learners. 

In order to get started with dying the rice, you’ll need to gather the supplies below.


-Ziploc bags


-Food coloring

Step 1: 

Evenly distribute the rice into Ziploc bags (in increments of cups). About 2 cups of rice is pictured in each bag, 

Step 2:

Measure 1 tablespoon of vinegar per 2 cups of rice in each bag. 

Step 3:

Plan out the desired colors and add about 5 drops of food coloring. Add more color in order to achieve brighter results. 

Step 4:

Carefully secure the Ziplock bag, shake and spread/mix the color and rice evenly with your fingers.

Step 5:

Set the rice out on a plate or baking tray to dry for about 24 hours. The color won’t mix if you decide to add the rice before it’s fully dry. The only thing is your hands might smell a little like vinegar. 

In the meantime, gather the supplies below for a St. Patrick’s Day Sensory bin.

– A bin or sensory table

Learning Resources Tri Grip Tongs 

Learning Resources Squeezy Tweezers

-Gold coins

-Glitter four leaf clovers and stars

-St. Patrick’s Day goodies found at your local dollar store or party store (green metallic 

confetti and green cups/leprechaun hats are a great option)

– You can even add green pom poms for a different texture 

Step 6:

Add the rainbow rice into the bin carefully. I added one color at a time and gathered it in layers after each pour.. Below you can see a side angle. Admire its beauty before being mixed indefinitely!

Step 7:

Choose how much or how little of the St. Patrick’s Day goodies and sensory bin accessories that you’d like to add in. I think it’s always fun to “hunt” for items in the rice so don’t be afraid to only add a few items.


Using the Learning Resources Tri Grip Tongs and Learning Resources Squeezy Tweezers to scoop rice into the cup to collect coins in the leprechaun’s hat can be the perfect fine motor activity. I love how perfect they are for a wide age range of primary learners. 

Lucky for you, there are so many ways you can modify this to meet the needs of your learners. Rather than simply thinking of it as a fine motor sensory bin with St. Patrick’s Day goodies, you can easily incorporate it as a number/letter seek and find, or even sight word and addition and subtraction math fact center. Or, save the rainbow rice and use it from season to season!


Save it for later!