There are so many different sensory bases you can use in your sensory play that you probably already have in your kitchen. For example – uncooked rice, pasta, or even chickpeas. But the things with those 3 examples is, while extremely fun either way, they are very bland in color. So, to add that extra little fun to your sensory play, why not add some colors!

Dying sensory bases is SO easy and not time consuming at all. I’ve seen a few different ways it can be done on different blogs, but I typically use the same method every time and I have had great success each time.

What You Will Need:

  • 5 cups of your choice of sensory base (my favorites are chickpeas, rice, and dried navy beans)
  • 3 or 4 tsp of White Vinegar
  • Food coloring
  • Ziplock Bags (or any sealing bags). You could also use plastic containers.

If you only want one color you can simply combine all ingredients in your zip lock bag or container and shake until color coats completely. You can add food coloring as needed until you get the color desired.

If you are looking to create a variety of colors, you can divide your ingredients up into equal parts and use smaller zip lock bags for each color.

I usually just lay it all out flat to dry for a few hours before using it for play. As long as the dye is no longer transferring to your hands, you are all set! It may have a bit of a vinegar smell at first, but that does fade away.


The only other thing I would recommend is using white rice, pasta, etc. Whole wheat doesn’t dye quite as well. Also, you can simply seal in a closed container and re use for many days of play to come! No, seriously, I am still using chick peas that I dyed 6+ months ago.

Have you dyed your own sensory bases? What method did you use? How did it turn out? If you do dye some sensory bases, leave a comment below and let me know how it goes!
How to Dye Your Own Sensory Bases