Best food coloring for sensory play

There are tons of food coloring activities to make any sensory play more fun for our little ones. There are also tons of food coloring options to buy from, so which one is the best one? Here is my list of favorite food coloring for every type of sensory play activity you create.

Best for bright colors

Color right food coloring (available on Amazon) is the best one for getting true colors that pop, is bright for any sensory activity. All you need is one or two drops and you will get amazing colors like these. The hues are true to the rainbow and the box offers additional colors like brown and black.

Best food coloring for edible Recipes

When it comes to edible sensory play, some people might be hesitant to using regular food coloring. After a while of doing lots of sensory play with it, I did too. As I started looking for other options, I found a vegan food coloring brand that people really liked.

The colors are more pale than other food coloring, but you get the benefit that they are more natural.

After doing more research into vegan food coloring options, I found out that TruColor (available on Amazon) is a favorite among vegans to use for their food, so I would think is safe to say this is a good recomendation.

Best for color variety

Most food coloring boxes come in the three primary colors and green. What if you want pink or purple? then you would need to experiment putting a few drops here and there.

One of my first food coloring sets and my favorite is the Nomeca brand set (found on Amazon). It comes in 12 colors. The tones are so beautiful and the price is perfect!

Best for bright neon colors

Neon colors are so much fun to play with! You don’t have to make special mixes and the McCormick neon box is all you say! Just add a few drops and you are good to go!

Learn how to make this colorful rice for sensory play here

Best for little hands

if you are doing a sensory play activity where you want your toddler to participate in adding the color, the Mc Cormick neon colors or regular food coloring bottles are perfect.

We all know toddlers enjoy pouring the whole thing if they could! These little food coloring bottles are a perfect size and are harder to squeeze than other food coloring bottles I have purchased. As they squeeze they only get a few drops at a time, making it perfect for toddler participation.

The best Natural alternative to food dyes

A surefire way to avoid artificial food dyes is to make your own natural versions using ingredients from your kitchen. There are so many beautiful hues in food, so why not use them? Especially if you are going to be doing edible-safe activities.

Many fruits and vegetables come in powdered form, but you can make your own by buying freeze-dried fruits and vegetables and pulverizing them to a fine powder in a food processor or spice grinder.

Onother way to make natural food dye is making a concentrated liquid. The liquid can be pure juice, a strained purée, or water-based: If you have a juicer, use it. It produces the purest liquid that you can reduce to the proper consistency.

Boil your ingredient of choice and use the remaining water as your staining color. Food52 recommends the following ingredients to achieve each color.

  • Pink: strawberries, raspberries
  • Red: beets, tomato
  • Orange: carrots, paprika, sweet potato
  • Yellow: saffron, turmeric
  • Green: matcha, spinach
  • Blue: red cabbage + baking soda
  • Purple: blueberries, purple sweet potato
  • Brown: coffee, tea, cocoa
  • Black: activated charcoal, squid Ink

Final Thoughts on Best Food Coloring for Sensory Play

Using food coloring either store-bought or natural is a great way to bring more fun into learning through play activities. Vibrant rich colors are attractive therefore, the activity will become more attractive to your little one.

If you are making an edible-safe activity because your little one still puts things in her mouth, then go for vegan or homemade preferably. If you are not concerned about your little one ingesting these, then you have more options from hues to vibrant rich colors all the way to neon ones.

No matter, what you choose, have fun!

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