Sensory Play with Rice!

‘Children need the freedom to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.’- Kay Jamison

Harry LOVES this activity! He has spent A LOT of time playing with rice in multiple ways. The images attached to this post have been taken on just two occasions where Harry has enjoyed using rice- one with trucks and diggers and one with his baking set. He thoroughly enjoys filling and emptying different containers, pouring between vessels and listening to the noise the rice makes when it’s dropped on different material surfaces.

Sensory Play with Rice

Preparation Time: Less than 5 minutes
Engagement: 40 minutes
Clean up: 5 minutes
Waste: 0


  • 1 bag of rice (coloured)- Click link to see how to colour rice here
  • Melissa and Doug baking set- Purchased on Amazon here
  • Toy trucks and diggers
  • Silicone cupcake cases- Purchased on Amazon here


  • Hoover area prior to letting your little one play (This helps to ensure rice collected in at the end is as clean as it can be, to re-use in future)
  • Add piles of rice to your tray/space
  • Scatter utensils in an inviting manner
  • Let your little one explore!

Benefits of this activity

  • Language Development
    *Describing textures
    *Naming utensils
    *Naming vehicles
    *Giving instructions- Pour, stir, mix, scoop etc.
  • Cognitive Skills;
    * Problem solving
    * Trial and error
  • Social & Emotional Skills;
    * Time to focus on the development of new skills
    * A period of calm
  • Motor Skills ;
    *Fine motor skill development- picking up grains of rice
    * Development of co-ordination and strength-Scooping, stirring, transferring rice from the tray and into the different containers
  • Creative Development;
    * Child led
    * Children are in control of the outcomes of the activity
    * Allows for use of imagination and creativity
  • Hand-eye co-ordination;
    *Transferring rice
    * Scooping using utensils
    * Pouring
  • Spatial awareness
    *Aim when transferring between containers
    *Moving around the tuff tray using utensils

Gallery Images

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