This activity has been a huge hit. Since we made the pasta a couple weeks ago, Mini Me and Little Lady have logged hours playing with it. I originally intended this as an activity for Mini Me, but Little Lady has just as much fun with it.
I bought five different shapes of pasta - bowtie, rotini, cellentani, elbow macaroni, and shells. With Mini Me's wonderful help, we dyed it four great colors:
1. We scooped some of each pasta into a gallon bag. I have no idea of the exact measures.
2. We added 1 (ish) teaspoons of rubbing alcohol to the bag.
3. We added six...ten...twelve(?) drops of food coloring. And, per normal, I got it all over just like our absorbing art and Easter eggs.
4. We shook the bags up really well. Little Lady even gave a few shakes. It was like a giant rattle.
5. We let the pasta soak in the bags about an hour, turning them over after 30 minutes, then dumped the pasta out on cookie sheets to dry out overnight.
The very first thing Mini Me wanted to do the next morning was play with the colored pasta. He and Little Lady proceeded to play for thirty minutes before even eating breakfast. Since then we have continued to have a lot of fun with it.
Things Little Lady can do with the colored pasta:
Play with scoops.
Swish and feel with her hands.
Scoop and dump.
Examine each individual piece (good for small motor skills).
Rub bare feet around in it.
Did we mention dump it?
Dig and find things I have buried.
Try to climb in it (whoops)
We talk about the colors and shapes.
It is a wonderful sensory material to play around with.
Sort into piles by color.
Sort into piles by shape.
Scoop and dump into various sizes of containers.
Use to create pasta art - glue designs to card stock. We even made letters on this one! Can you see them?
Bury and search for items.
Use the pasta for counting in our math game.
Make colored macaroni jewelry.
Have "picking races" - I set the timer for a minute and see how many green rotini (or blue bow ties, or whatever) he can sort out of the big container in that time.
Make pattern lines by color (red, yellow, green, blue, red, yellow, green, blue...).
Make patterns lines by shape (bow tie, macaroni, shell, bow tie, macaroni, shell...).
Use pasta to make shapes - circles, squares, triangles, etc.
I just can't emphasize enough what fun this has been for them! I'm sure we will discover more fun things to do with our colored pasta. Both of my children would eat pasta every day of the week and now we found another reason to buy it - dyeing it fun colors so we can play... and play... and play...
Something new I learned: Rubbing alcohol, left to soak on food-coloring-stained counter tops, will remove the stain. Very odd, since the rubbing alcohol made it soak into the pasta...