Dyed spaghetti is one of the most inexpensive, versatile and fun ways to practice honing our fine motor skills, while engaged in sensory play with the slippery, slimy, shiny strands of pasta. Instead of just making rainbow pasta, we added some delicious extracts to enhance the sensory experience. Scented rainbow spaghetti!
Cook pasta according to directions, minus one minute - to make sure it's not too soft
Add one tablespoon of light cooking oil to prevent sticking - we used canola oil
Swirl around the pasta with the oil
Separate the pasta into as many bowls as you want to make colors - my kidabunks chose pink, blue, yellow and green
Add six or seven drops of food dye to each of the bowls of pasta, toss to coat - the kids loved watching the pasta change into whichever color they were working with at the time. I let them use their hands to mix the dye into the pasta, it will temporarily stain their hands though.
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract to the yellow pasta
1 tsp of left over coffee to the blue pasta
1/2 tsp of cinnamon to the green pasta
When it was time to play with the pasta, we cleared off the art table and their play kitchen work areas. I set out two pots/pans for each of them, plus we put a pair of tongs in each of the rainbow pasta bowls. They had so much fun pretending to cook, transferring it (sometimes with tongs, sometimes with their fingers sometimes with a pasta fork) from one bowl to another, mixing colors, separating strands, feeling the slippery texture of the strands, noticing that the strands break when pulled apart. We played with the pasta for almost an hour! An hour! The kids smelled delicious after playing with this for so long. As you can see from the big smile, this was a H-U-G-E hit!