Summer Camp Ideas – DIY Sensory Rice for Kids

summer camp ideas for preschoolers

I love making sensory rice for my girls. It’s definitely top 5 in our home as it’s just one of those play ideas that gets the kids playing – for a long time!


We made this themed sensory rice for the Fourth of July this summer, but it can totally work for any occasion. Just add the colors you would like and voila! It’s ready to go. 


The rice was simple to make and we put it together at home. It is always a fun time! For more on sensory rice, sensory play and all things sensory check out this post here!

Because this summer some of our children our part of a kids camp, I’ll go into detail about how it can work as fun and engaging summer camp ideas for kids of different ages.


how to make fourth of july sensory rice



Fun Camping Activities Sensory Rice Edition 


This is a perfect activity for the summer time. You can make this at home (like we did) or you can add this play idea into your list of summer camp ideas. 


summer camp ideas


Both will work well. That is definitely one of the reasons I love this play so much. It is so versatile and can be used in all different types of ways, places and areas!


*As fun as this rice looks this is not for all children. For those children who are still putting things in their mouth, I advise not try this play idea until you feel it is comfortable to let them try it out. The rice can be cause for a choking hazard. Supervision is required at all times. 


Summer activities for preschoolers



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Add rice to your bag/container with a dab of paint. Close the bag/container and shake it.


Once the paint has completely covered the rice pour it on parchment paper and set to the side for it to dry.


When you color rice with paint, it dries in less than 10 minutes. It dries very quickly which is one of the reasons I personally love dyeing my rice with paint. 


Once its dry, pour the rice into a tray and your all set for some fun sensory play!


DIY Sensory Bin Video Below


Summer Activities for Preschoolers

If you’ll be trying this at home or adding this activity in a preschool summer camp, great!

Add in some scoopers, plastic/wooden bowls, and plastic/wooden spoons into the mix.

Add in some magnet numbers 1-5 and have your preschooler align them in order! 


Preschoolers will have so much fun scooping and pouring and enjoying a fun sensorial experience.

The pouring and scooping of the rice is so beneficial in so many areas of play.

For more on sensory play check out this post.  


fourth of july sensory bin


Summer Activities for Toddlers


Sensory Rice is also fun if you have a toddler at home or are hosting a summer camp for toddlers.

Again, always supervise closely with this sensory rice, especially with younger children. 

summer activities for toddlers

You can add the rice into a Voss Bottle or a Sensory Bag.

These are all perfect for toddlers as they keep the rice enclosed.

Add in some fun manipulatives to the rice to make it extra fun and engaging. 

An example of a manipulative would be pom poms or letter magnets shapes.

Turn this into a learning activity by calling out the color of the pom pom or the shape of the letter magnet! 


Summer Activities for Kindergarteners 


My 6 year old really enjoys when I come up with more advanced games using the sensory rice.

Sometimes I’ll add in magnet letters so she can make out a word by scooping them out with a scooper.

We added glow in the dark stars for counting.

These also work great for a camping trip on a starry night!

This is a wonderful way for her to learn while playing. 

camping ideas for kindergarteners

At Home or Summer Camp Game for Kids


Some fun summer camp themes that would work well would be a camping sensory bin (red and brown sensory rice), or a nature sensory bin with blue rice for the water and green rice for the earth. 


Add the rice into a craft bottle with some letter beads and/or colored beads. You can try an I-Spy game for the kids. This is a fun one and is one for the books if your trying it at home or as fun camping activities for kids. 


We used paint to color our rice. I find it is the quickest way to dye rice and that works well for us mom’s who are busy sometimes. 


We dyed our rice red and blue but you can dye it whatever color your little ones/students hearts desire.

summer sensory rice bin

Hope you enjoy sensory rice as much as we do! Dont forget to add this to your list of fun things to do this summer and/or in to your summer camp schedule.


Will you give this sensory rice a try this summer? 

Pin it for later? 

DIY Sensory Bin for Kids

If you enjoyed this Summer Camp Sensory Rice, check out these fun summer activities: 


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