Pasta Play!

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When I was making my Knife Garden the other day, I couldn’t resist coloring some pasta for my boys, M and L.  Look at how vibrant and fun they are!  The directions for dying the pasta are almost the same as the spaghetti for the Knife Garden, but these take a lot less time.

The Supplies
1. pasta – pick fun shapes and ones that can be strung!
2. rubbing alcohol or vinegar
3. liquid food coloring
4. Ziploc type bags
5. cookie sheet
6. aluminum foil
7. paper towels

The Directions
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Put your pasta into Ziploc type bags.  Use one bag for each color you want to make.  If you’re using more than one type of pasta, you could do one color per type, or have a mix of them all per bag.
Next, add rubbing alcohol or vinegar to the bag.  It doesn’t have to completely cover the pasta, but should at least cover half of it.  I used rubbing alcohol, because it was what I had on hand.  Vinegar would be a safer option for younger kids who still explore items by putting them in their mouths.
Add food coloring to each bag.  Make sure to add it to the rubbing alcohol and NOT directly on the pasta. Use about 10 drops per snack/sandwich size bag. Use more if it’s a very light color, like yellow.
At this point, you might want to double your bags to prevent leaks.  Mine stood up really nice on the counter, so I decided it wasn’t worth wasting the extra bags. Now gently shake your bags until the color is evenly mixed in the rubbing alcohol and each piece of pasta has been saturated.  Let them sit for 5-10 minutes.  Give them another shake.  Repeat this until you achieve the desired color.  Mine only took about 30 minutes.

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Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil to protect it from the food coloring. Then lay down a couple layers of paper towels on top of the aluminum foil (all of my cookie sheets were occupied at the time with piles of spaghetti, so I improvised and used a muffin tin). Take your pasta out of the bags (you can use gloves).  Let excess coloring solution drip into the bag before placing them on the paper towels. It’s best if you can lay them out flat in a single layer. They will dry faster and won’t clump together. Let them dry completely.


I found this pack of 4 food safe containers for less than $2.  I LOVE the bright lids.  I divided the pasta between two containers, put scooping utensils and stringing shoelaces in another, and left the fourth empty to dump the pasta into!


I taped the middle of two shoelaces to the inside bottom of one container.  This solved the problem of tying a knot at the end.  It also makes it easier to string the pasta on when the shoelaces are anchored.  AND I won’t find stray shoelaces in some random corner of the house – it’s easy clean up!

Now the FUN part!  Let the kids play, and watch their brains go to work!  Just think about all the learning opportunities here:  color sorting, shape sorting, patterns, fine motors skills… and to them it’s just playing!

My boys loved this!
Get ready for a picture parade!

M staying up past bedtime to try out the new activity!

L enjoying it the next day – he only tried to eat them twice 🙂 but I stopped him in time.

This is an awesome sit-down activity that will keep the kids focused for a long time!
Don’t those vibrant colors make you want to sit down and play too? 😉

Remember, if you post about this project, please be sure to give me credit and link back to me or grab a button from the sidebar. Thanks!



Filed under DIY - Do It Yourself, Free Tutorials, Kids' Crafts

14 responses to “Pasta Play!

  1. I seriously love this idea. It is so fun. I have a feeling I’m going to be running to the store tonight when my husband gets home so I can get this stuff. Truly fun.
    This month we have a running series of link up parties focused on parenting (there are different categories so you might need to look before you link up). We would seriously love it if you could link up this and any other projects you might have on your blog (
    Al @ Shaffer Sisters

  2. The colors are beautiful and bright. I absolutely love the way they turned out!

  3. Cool stuff. I like how vibrant the colors are. The grands will like this.
    Consider yourself hugged,

  4. Your pasta is way more exciting than the macaroni necklaces I made as a kid.

  5. love how vibrant your colors are! would you please come share this on our #KidsintheKitchen linky

  6. I LOVE the colors! I bet my boys would love to play with these!

  7. LOVE this!! This is something I WILL be making for my girls. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  8. Pingback: Sensory Jars | craftandrepeat

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