How to Colour Chickpeas for Play

How to Colour Chickpeas for Play

Laura @inspiremyplay

Founder of @inspiremyplay, Early Years teacher for 11 years and mummy to three gorgeous girls. I'm passionate about about the benefits of play in early childhood.

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Chickpeas make such a fun sensory base and last so well to use over and over again! Take your sensory play up a notch with this easy DIY to make them rainbow coloured! 

Chickpeas are one of our favourite sensory play materials! They are so satisfying to scoop and pour, last forever and are relatively low mess as sensory play goes! 

 We love using them au natural but I recently decided to colour a batch and I'm so glad I did! The instant attraction was like bees to honey! Rainbow chickpeas were definitely a hit in our house and it's so good to have something I can pull out at short notice, throw in some bowls and scoops and we're ready to go!

As well as sensory play, chickpeas work brilliantly for loose part play or as a craft material. The pincer grip required to pick them up individually is so beneficial for developing good fine motor skills. We recently had fun using them in some Easter craft.

How to Colour Chickpeas for Play Activities

Colouring chickpeas is very easy! Using food colouring and a dash of vinegar is one option but our preferred method is to use paint as the colours end up so vibrant!

What You Will Need

  • Dried chickpeas
  • Zip-lock/ sandwich bags
  • Tempera/ Ready Mix Paint
  • Tray for drying the painted chickpeas


1. Fill a zip-lock bag or sandwich bag with chickpeas and add a few generous squirts of tempera paint.

2. Work the paint into the chickpeas by scrunching and shaking the bag. Open the bag and check if they need a little more paint or scrunching in order to be completely covered. Once you are happy, lay them out on a lined baking tray to dry. You can speed up the drying process by placing the baking tray in the oven on a very low heat.

3. Repeat the process for different colours using a different zip-loc bag or wash the one you've just used. I used separate bags and then have kept them to colour other things like pasta and rice in a similar way. Once dry, pour them into a tray with scoops and bowls and other sensory play tools.

And that's it! It's so simple but such an effective way of creating a sensory play material that can be used again and again! For other simple DIY sensory materials check out our Rainbow Rice tutorial and Dyed Pasta tutorial.

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