Creating an Easter sensory bin is way easier than you might think. It’s “just” rainbow rice, plastic eggs, and egg cartons. The best part: you can save and reuse this sensory bin rice for years to come. Yes… years.
I’m going to tell you a secret about kids.
This teeny tiny little secret that can be the difference between you having a hot cup of coffee in the morning or reheating a cold one and finally abandoning it by lunchtime.
Get your note pad out because this tip will change everything.
Kids love rice bins.
It may seem simple.
It may seem wild.
It may seem boring to you.
It may seem messy.
But kids love them.
RELATED: If you need more Easter activities for kids, check out my great round up!
What you need to know about an Easter sensory bin
I can feel your confusion or judgment or skepticism.
“Aren’t sensory bins super messy?”
Sensory bins (including this Easter sensory bin) do not have to be messy to be fun. Kids can learn to play within the boundary of a sensory bin.
I can’t explain it all here, but I have a great blog post that explains how to teach your child to play with a sensory bin without making a giant mess.
“Who has time to make rainbow colored rice?”
Hear me out.
When I first saw people dyeing rice on Pinterest, my eye roll hit the ceiling. Who has that time?
Turns out, I did. And because it takes about 2 minutes…
Dyeing rainbow rice is unreasonably easy. I’m going to explain how to do it – but it is like laughably easy. Makes me giggle that I drug my heals on this…
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- Plastic Easter eggs
- Storage tub
- Rainbow rice (recipe below)
- Empty egg carton(s)
Here’s the best part of this supply list: it’s reusable. The eggs, the storage container, the rainbow rice: this is all stuff that can be saved and reused year after year and in multiple activities.
How to make rainbow rice
For each color, follow this recipe. I made pink, yellow, green, and blue rice.
- 3 cups rice
- 3 Tablespoons white vinegar
- Lots of squirts of food coloring (favorite kind)
- Shake shake shake in a resealable bag or container
Repeat for as many colors as you like, just stay within the 1:1 ratio of vinegar to rice (this helps preserve the rice, bind the color so nothing gets on hands, and keep the bugs away).
Set each color on a plate or cookie sheet to dry about 1-2 hours. The kids love making the rainbow rice with me and watching as it dries – such a good lesson in delayed gratification.
This rice will now last for years if store in an air tight container.
Building an Easter sensory bin
To make this Easter sensory bin:
I grabbed our bag of rainbow dyed rice – which I dyed a year ago and keep on hand in a resealable bag – and dumped it in a 28 quart storage container.
I cracked open a bunch of Easter eggs and put one half in the bin with the rice and the other half in the egg cartons.
The purple egg cartons from Costco felt like a real *chef’s kiss.*
RELATED: If you need more activities for kids with Easter eggs, I have a great list of them.
How my kids did with this activity
My kids (ages 27 months old and 3.5 years old) played at this bin for well over half an hour.
And that was just round one.
We left this bin up for 5 days. And it was a hit each and every day. They spent hours here.
They loved scooping the rice, pouring it, filling eggs and trying to snap them closed. My son (3.5) was able to make his own egg shakers and he loved it. My daughter (27 months) wasn’t quite able to put two halves back together but she was able to ask brother for help.
I tell you, if there is one thing I’m glad I did it was teach my kids to use sensory bins (and keep them tidy). If nothing else, it’s helped me drink a lot of hot coffee over the past few years that I otherwise would have totally missed out on.
Because nothing hooks a kid like a rice bin. Add in the magic of Easter eggs and you’ve got one simple, easy and totally doable Easter Sensory Bin that your kids will love.
Frequently Asked Questions
Nope! Once it is dry, the color stays locked onto the rainbow rice and does not transfer to anything.
My rainbow rice is celebrating its 4th birthday soon. Rainbow rice can last forever.
Remember: think stages not ages. Instead of focusing on an age that this is best for, think of it for your child: are they safe with rice (no allergies)? Do they enjoy sensory play? Can they sit up on their own? Rice bins are great for kids as young as 12 months given that they have excellent adult supervision.
Susie Allison, M. Ed
Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has more than 2 million followers on Instagram. A former teacher and early childhood education advocate, Susie’s parenting book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is available on Amazon.
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