Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Dyed pasta and threading

After a long break in posts, I thought I'd come back and share this little activity. It was very quick and easy, and I'm really pleased with the results.

To dye your pasta (white rice also works well), you'll need to use:

Dry pasta (didn't see that coming did you?)
Ziplock bags, one for every colour you intend to use
Vinegar/rubbing alcohol
Food colouring - natural ones don't seem to come up as brightly as synthetic, but it's worth experimenting.

Put a tablespoon on vinegar/alcohol into your plastic bag. add a few drops of food colouring. Pour in enough pasta to soak up the liquid and shake around until the pasta is fully coated. Leave until the pasta is the shade you want (I left mine over night, but it might only take yours half an hour or so.)

Empty the pasta onto some greaseproof paper, and spread out so the pieces don't touch. Leave to dry.

VoilĂ ! Coloured pasta or rice. So what are you going to use it for?

Rice is especially good for sensory play. Put handfuls in a tray and let your child mix the colours together. It looks great in clear plastic bottles as a shaker too. Both rice and pasta can be used in collages.

The pasta can be used for sorting colours or shapes, adding and subtracting games and for counting. I'm sure there are many other activities you could think of!

I decided to use ours for threading. It's an activity which Alice is really keen on lately, and the holes in the pasta are just the right size to be challenging, but not too frustrating. I made my 'needle and thread' by taking a length of thin string, and taping a tooth pick to the end. Make sure the needle is quite long if you have a little child. It's much easier for them to use. I tied a piece of pasta to the end to stop the others falling off. Once the pasta is threaded, it can be used as necklaces or belts, for pretend snakes, lots of strings can be hung up as a bead curtain, or you could just take them off and start threading again!

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