Friday, November 29, 2019

Rainbow Oats {How to Dye Oats for Sensory Play}

This blog uses affiliate links. Basically, I make a small commission when you use these links, at no additional cost to you.


Tips and resources to helps autism families navigate the holiday season

Find out how to dye oats and make a rainbow oatmeal sensory bin for your kids.

It's been awhile since we've done a good old fashioned sensory bin, mostly because our sensory bin container was in dire need of replacement. 

Well, thankfully, I remembered to pick up a new sensory bin container while running errands. Then we kicked off our return to sensory bins with a colorful (new-to-us) base (it's almost as awesome as these rainbow dyed chickpeas).  

I haven't used oats as a sensory bin filler before. While I'm sure that the boys would have enjoyed playing with plain old oats on their own, I always like to add a bit of color if I can. 

So the boys and I spent a morning dyeing oats in all colors of the rainbow, left them in the sun to dry, and were playing with them a few hours later.

Ready to try some rainbow oats sensory play? Here's how to dye oats.

Rainbow oats sensory bin idea for kids

Rainbow Oats Sensory Bin: What You'll Need

Dyeing the oats is very straightforward.  Since we are passed the mouthing stage in our house, I went the non-edible route.  However, you could easily make edible rainbow oats by using food coloring. 

To dye the oats, you will need:

  • Water

Playing with rainbow dyed oats

How to Dye Oats for Sensory Play

In a bowl (or zipper seal bags), I mixed approximately 1.5 tablespoons of water with a few drops of liquid watercolors (if you are using food coloring, you will need likely 8-10 drops depending on how vibrant you want them).

You want just enough liquid to coat the oats. You do not want them to be drenched.

I then added the rolled oats.

Once all the oats were evenly coated, I dumped the mixture onto paper towel and left it in the sunroom to dry.  Drying time was only about an hour.  

I then arranged the colored oats into a rainbow.  Isn't it pretty? The answer is yes, obviously.

Colored oatmeal sensory bin for kids

Colored oatmeal sensory bin for kids

Rainbow oats

Of course, all the colored oats will be thoroughly mixed in a matter of seconds, leaving a bin full of colorful confetti-like sensory fun. But it was nice to enjoy the nicely lined up rainbow colors for a few seconds though...

Rainbow porridge sensory bin

Rainbow Oats: A Fun Twist on the Classic Oatmeal Sensory Bin for Kids!

The rainbow oats were irresistible to my boys! J loved to draw shapes, letters, and numbers in them. And he loved to scoop them up and let them fall gently between his fingers. 

How to dye oats

How to dye oats for sensory play

How to dye oats for sensory play

Rainbow oats sensory bin

Doesn't it look just like confetti?

K, on the other hand, loved to explore the rainbow oats with his entire body.  I've said it many times before, but I will say it again.  No sensory bin is complete until there's a child inside the bin itself!

Toddler playing with rainbow sensory bin

We will definitely be playing with these rainbow oats for the rest of the week!  How can we not?!  Look at all those gorgeous morsels of color.

Sensory play with rainbow oats

How Long Do Rainbow Oats Keep For?

I still have this same set of rainbow oats even 5 years later. I just keep them sealed in an airtight container or zipper seal bag. Some of the oats have broken down a bit from being played with, but that's about it.

Other Sensory Bin Ideas You'll Love





SHARE THIS


Browse these popular categories


Autism parenting resources Hyperlexia resources Sensory diet activities Speech activities and printables Social skills resources Emotional self-regulation resources
Tips and resources to helps autism families navigate the holiday season

38 comments:

  1. Ahhhhhhhh-mazingly beautiful! I love your ideas and your photography! Plus RAINBOW!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautifullllll!!! And your photos rock my world!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coming from you that is a huge compliment! Thank you so much, Stephanie!!

      Delete
  3. Gorgeous!!! And like the others said, your photos are fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You ladies are making me blush! I have been working so hard on improving my photos so I love that my hard work is being noticed! :)

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. I loved so many more photos than the ones I used. It was so hard to pick my favorites!

      Delete
  5. Such a great idea Dyan - one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" moments. So cool! And yes, the pictures are stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because if you thought of it, then I wouldn't have! HA! And thanks, Sue!

      Delete
  6. Oh!! I love it! So simple and such a great idea!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Making them right now! :-) The kids will be so happy when they get up from their naps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, water and color quantities are not the same at all with food coloring. I ended up using almost 3-4 TBSP of water with at least 8-10 drops of coloring to get the same vibrancy as yours. But they are drying now, I can't wait for the kids to see! :-)

      Delete
    2. Here you are! That was fun... http://familyfaithfoodfabric.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/364-days-and-our-first-sensory-bin/

      Delete
    3. Aw yes! I will edit the post to remind others that liquid watercolors are way more intense and that food coloring will require more drops. And I love how yours turned out! It looks like the kids LOVED it! Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
  8. Fantastic - absolutely love this idea and will be trying it out asap! Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent! I hope you come back and share how yours turned out. :)

      Delete
  9. I wonder if this could be used for art purposes as well as sensory? My 4 year old loves art!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet it would work great! I haven't tried it, but if you do, then please let me know how it turns out.

      Delete
  10. I tried this, but my oats all just clumped together. Do you have any idea what I might have done wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could be that you need to use a different kind of oats. I used large flake whole grain oats and there was no clumping. Another possibility is that you had too much liquid for the oats. Hope that helps!

      Delete
  11. No idea what I am doing wrong. Same amount of liquid watercolours and water as mentioned above, and only about half of the cup of rolled oats end up a pale green!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could be either that you are using a different type of oats than I did or the liquid watercolors that you are using aren't as vibrant in color. Of all the colors, my green oats are definitely not as vibrant as the other colors.

      Delete
  12. If you don't mind the colors being premixed, this instantly reminded me of fruity pebbles in color and shape. The off brand goes on sale for a buck a bag and is edible. Never would have thought to use cereal as sensory play.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People keep telling me they look like fruity pebbles. I've never seen fruity pebbles before. I don't know if you can purchase them here. But it would definitely make a great sensory bin filler!

      Delete
  13. This is just fantastic and as I've eaten the last bowl of porridge this morning I'll have to buy some more to do this!!! I will share on my Facebook Group :)

    Monica

    http://mamabeesimple.blogspot.com
    http://facebook.com/mamabeesimple

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Well, oats are for eating after all. :)

      Delete
  14. I made the color oats with fall colors, my preschool kids loved it we added cinnamon stick for a sensory scent and went really well with scoops and small containers. Thank you for the idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  15. I love these! Do you know how long the oats last if stored?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are still using these same oats and it has been 2.5 years. So they can store for a long time depending on how much use they get.

      Delete
    2. Fantastic! Thanks!! My son has been playing with them for 2 weeks straight

      Delete
    3. Awesome! Have you tried the rainbow dyed chickpeas yet? He might enjoy those too. They're my personal favorite!

      Delete
  16. Is it better to use food coloring so if (when) some get eaten it's safer? Also, do the kids hands discolor from the dye?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! Food coloring is perfect when you think some kids may taste/eat it. I just prefer to use liquid watercolors to avoid my hands getting stained while dyeing the oats.

      Delete