September 13, 2013

Candy Apple Rice - Fall Sensory Play

How to dye apple scented rice for fall sensory play in yummy candy apply scented and colors.

How to make candy apple rice for sensory play - simple steps to make this fun fall recipe for play!

Fall Recipe for Play - Candy Apple Rice

We are on a roll with these fall recipes for play. Over the past couple of weeks I've shared fall sticky paints, fall playdough, pumpkin spice latte Oobleck, fall finger paints, apple printing with erupting sidewalk chalk paint, fall clean mud and apple pie dough. It seems like our apple scented recipes have been huge hits with my boys, so I decided to mix up a batch of apple scented rice for fall sensory play.

Making candy apple scented rice

How to Make Candy Apple Scented Rice

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An invitation to play with candy apple scented rice

Directions:  In the past I colored my rice or pasta using food coloring, liquid watercolors or Duncan Hines Frosting Creations and a little vinegar.  Often times the vinegar overpowers the fun scents.  I thought the vinegar was necessary to set the color.  As it turns out, vinegar isn't needed.  I learned from Fun at Home with Kids that it can be omitted, and now we always dye rice with this simple method.

To make our candy apple rice I poured rice into four ziploc baggies.  I added the coloring and scents to each bag:  golden delicious yellow, caramel brown, candy apple red, and apple cinnamon green.  I added vanilla to the yellow rice to give it the smell of a golden delicious apple.  By far the cinnamon was my favorite.  The rice is over a week old, and the cinnamon still gives off the strongest scent.  I sealed each bag and shook them hard until the color had spread evenly.  Then I opened each bag and left it out to air dry on a high shelf, out of the reach of my twin toddlers.  I usually dry rice or pasta on wax paper, but by giving the bags a shuffle upon occasion, it dried just fine in the open bags.  I do not recommend this drying method if you aren't in a position to shake up the rice now and then, because mold could grow on the damp rice.

Playing with apple scented rice

I set up a super simple invitation to play with the candy apple rice for Tank and Peanut (26 months).  I left the rice separated by color and put the four colors into a large bin.

Color mixing with candy apple scented rice

It didn't take long for their small hands to mix up the four colors.

Fine motor play with apple scented rice

Rice is the one sensory material that both of them can play with for a solid hour without losing interest.  All they need are a couple of small containers for scooping and dumping, and they are set.

Scooping and pouring with apple scented rice

We are working on keeping all the rice in the bin.  They get a bit carried away with all the pouring that they forget to keep the rice in the bin.  Thankfully rice vacuums up easily.

Gorgeous fall recipe for play - candy apple sensory rice

JZ (6) joined them for a bit.  Two of the many things I love about rice are that it is fun for all ages, and it can be stored and used again and again.  Here are my favorite sensory materials that last.

Candy Apple Rice - How to make candy apple rice for sensory play in yummy fall scents and colors:  candy apple red, golden delicious yellow, apple cinnamon green and caramel brown!

For more fall recipes for play follow me on Pinterest.

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How to make CANDY APPLE RICE for sensory play in yummy fall scents and colors:  no alcohol or vinegar needed!

More fall recipes for play with apples:

Apple pie dough - fall recipe for play.  Sensory play and make believe with this super stretchy dough recipe made from common household ingredients.  How to add color and scent to water beads for seasonal and themed sensory play  Apple printing with apple scented sidewalk chalk paint.  Bonus:  it erupts!


  1. I wonder what it would taste like if you cooked it with those pretty smelling colors?

  2. Colour full dishes are alwa6s my kids favourite. We are going to try this out!

  3. Question, did you use the rice right of the box or did you use cooked rice?

  4. This looks like so much fun ... and not too difficult to prepare! I featured your post and photo in my 30+ Apple Sensory Tubs post at

  5. What a great idea! What exactly did you use for the scents? And where did you buy them? Thanks!

    1. Hi there! I specified what I used and where to buy them where it says "Supplies:". I included links to each item on Amazon. Hope that helps. :)


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