Rainbow Pasta Sensory Bin
It’s April and here at Little Creatures Family Daycare we’re exploring the theme April Showers and what follows after rain? Rainbows of course! There are many ways to incorporate rainbows into your themed activities from snacks, arts and here, sensory bins.
You will need:
– A few large bags of dried pasta (the dollar store is a good place to go)
– Food colouring drops (I used the neon drops from Safeway)
– Large ziplock bags or food containers with a lid
– Waxed paper
– A bin to store your material for your sensory bin
How to do it
Method 1: Dried Pasta
In this method you portion out your dried pasta into ziplock bags, simply add drops of colour, seal the bag and shake! I added 10 drops of food colouring each. *Tip some colours didn’t spread as well so I mixed the drops of food colouring into 1/4 cup of water first then added that liquid into the bags. Shake the pasta for a few minutes until evenly coated or enlist the help of your littles.
Once your pasta is thoroughly coated, spread the pasta on a sheet of waxed paper and allow to dry for a few hours. If it’s a sunny day put your pasta in the sun and it will dry quickly.
Method 2: Cooked Pasta
This method is almost exactly the same as the dried pasta method but you cook your pasta before dying it and the resulting sensory bin is quite different. Cook your pasta al dente then portion into your ziplock bags. Add your food colouring drops (you probably won’t need water) seal and shake! When you’re done you can leave your pasta in the bags until you are ready to use them in your bin. If you make a large batch, freeze half for future use.
*Tip- to reduce the colour transfer onto your little one’s hands have them run a few drops of olive oil on their hands before they play and make sure they’re wearing their messy clothes!
We had a little pasta left over so I let Grace get in there before I used the bin for the daycare. She really enjoyed the feel of the dried pasta noodles against her skin! **Warning** if you are doing sensory play with small children under three keep a very close eye on them. As you likely know they will put everything in their mouth and you will need to hone your spidey senses to catch them. Man she’s quick!
When it’s time to change out your sensory materials don’t throw out your dried pasta, save it for future projects. The pasta can be used as an invitation to play presented with play dough. The pasta could be used for a sorting activity, for practice threading, to make necklaces, filling for shakers, for adding to art projects…