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How to make rainbow pasta for sensory play

Category: home and DIY

It is school holidays! Time to line up a range of entertaining activities to keep the kids busy. Planning fun projects in advance will not only bring structure and organisation to your days, but also give your little ones something exciting to look forward to each day! After all, nothing strikes fear into parents all over the world more than hearing the phrase “I’m bored!”. 

A quick trip to your local Stockland centre combined with some basic household essentials is all you need to create an easy and affordable activity, that’s not only super fun to create, but educational and engaging, too! 

This rainbow pasta activity is perfect for sensory playtime. Sensory play helps children to develop and improve their fine motor skills, co-ordination and concentration. It also encourages creativity and helps to develop their imagination. Here’s what you’ll need to create some awesome, brightly coloured rainbow pasta. 

- 2 packets of thick spaghetti 
- 5 large ziplock bags 
- Rubber gloves
- Food colouring 
- Large stove pot 
- Water
- Colander 
- Large bowl or tub (we used a recycled glass version – great for the environment!)

Ingredients for Rainbow pasta for kids

Step one 

Start by cooking your spaghetti just as you would if you were planning on eating it. Adult supervision is required for this part! The difference here is, you want to remove the spaghetti before it’s completely cooked – it should be slightly soft, but not mushy. Rinse the spaghetti well under cold water – this is super important because the cold water will stop the pasta cooking any further, and also rinse out any excess starch, which is important to ensure the pasta isn’t too sticky. For reference, we used two packets of thick spaghetti which filled a large glass bowl. 

Rainbow pasta for kids - spaghetti bowl

Step two 

Sort your cooked spaghetti into even piles, depending on how many colours you want to create. We went for red, blue, green, yellow and purple. Place your spaghetti into ziplock bags – you’ll need one bag per colour. Make sure you’re wearing gloves and then add a few drops of food colouring to each bag – seal it tight! 

Rainbow pasta for kids - now and then

Step three 

This is the fun part! Get the kids to shake up the bags, squish them around, toss them into the air, whatever! Just keep moving the colour around the bag until all of the spaghetti is covered and completely saturated. Leave to sit for 20 minutes. 

Step four

With your gloves still on, rinse each colour in a colander under cold water. This step is super important – if you don’t rinse it well, excess dye may stain your little one’s hands. But fear not, since you’ve used food dye, it will come off and is safe for consumption, too. 
washing rainbow pasta for kids


Step five 

That’s it! Pop all your coloured spaghetti into a large tub or bucket for the kids to enjoy. You can enhance this sensory play idea by hiding hidden treasures such as figurines or toys in the pasta for them to search for. Or, why not try a colour-guessing game or have them create basic shapes with the strands of spaghetti? The options are endless! And don’t forget, this method works with all types of pasta – so next time, why not try mixing it up with different shapes and styles? Go crazy with it!  

Rainbow pasta for kids - final

Product used available from: Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, Kmart, Target or Big W.

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