Color Beans for Sensory Play

Dried beans are really fun for sensory play, specifically sensory bins. Plus, who doesn’t love vibrant colors!? Everyone is going to want to dig their hands in!

Have your kids run their fingers and toes through the beans. Grab some kitchen supplies for some extra tools to play!

Maybe they’ll enjoy sorting out the beans by color to make separate meals of blueberries (blue beans), spinach (green beans), and eggs (yellow beans). Really great for practicing colors!


  • Dried beans. Any lightly colored bean will do.  Lima beans, white navy beans (what we used here), even pinto beans (you can usually score big bags of pintos at the Dollar Tree!).  
  • Food coloring. To get the rainbow of colors you see here I used a combination of regular food coloring and neon food coloring.
  • Plasic baggies or containers


  1. Measure a cup of beans into a container.  We used a tupperware (Gladware) container, but a bag would probably also work.
  2. Add one cup of beans and 15 drops of whatever food coloring (food dye) color you wish. 
  3. Once you add the 15 drops, close the lid or seal the bag (add some air if you’re using a bag) and shake them like crazy for about 10-20 seconds – until you see that they are completely coated.
  4.  Immediately dump them out onto a paper towel or paper towel lined tray and spread them out evenly so they are not clumped together (see below).  Allow them to air dry for several hours.

The beans will last for several months, if not longer, so long as they are kept dry.   Keep them in a plastic shoe storage box!

Let us know in the comments how you enjoyed these!

***Please note that beans present a choking hazard for young children.  Raw uncooked beans, if ingested, can cause discomfort.  This activity is not intended for children who are still putting things in their mouths. Please provide constant supervision during this activity.***

Leave a Reply