Monday, April 30, 2012


I'm always looking for neat new activities for my son that are both educational and FUN.  I came across a version of this activity one day while searching the web and so I decided to try it! It's super easy to put together and my son loves it!

Teach toddlers about colors with dry pasta that's dyed with food coloring!

Here's what you need:
*Food coloring (multiple colors, i used regular colors and the neon ones)
*Rubbing Alcohol
*Ziploc Bags (gallon size)
*Pasta (preferably rigatoni or another type with a large hole for stringing)
*Paper Towels and Newspaper (for drying)

First before you start I should mention one thing. While preparing this activity there might be a strong odor from the rubbing alcohol. So make sure to do this in a well ventilated area.  Don't worry about the pasta smelling like the alcohol. Once the pasta is completely dry it will be odorless.  

To start, line a cookie sheet with some newspapers and paper towels on top.  Add about 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol to a Ziploc bag, then add one color of food coloring. I used quite a bit of food coloring for each bag in order to get a deep color.  Swish the food coloring and alcohol around in the bag to make sure it is combined.  Next add some dried pasta to the bag.  Zip closed and place on the baking sheet.  Continue with the remaining colors.  Place all the bags on the cookie sheets and let sit.  Don't expect an instant result. This process takes several hours to achieve a deep color, making sure you flip the bags around every hour or so.  

Once the pasta has achieved the desired color it is time to let the pasta dry.  Over the sink (with hot water running), cut the bottom corner off the bag, making sure the cut only makes a small hole so the pasta doesn't fall out.  Drain all of the liquid out of the bag then pour the pasta onto the paper towel lined cookie sheets to dry. 

Let the pasta dry completely before handling.  This process usually takes another few hours.  And once it's dry you have lots of brightly colored pasta for multiple fun activities!! 

Teach pattern making by having your toddler string the pasta onto a long shoelace with a knot tied in one end.

Teach about color sorting with the pasta too! 

There are so many activities that toddlers can use this dyed pasta for. I'm even taking some to the beach with us so that my son can make designs in the sand!