Rainbow Dyed Noodles

I remember dyeing noodles as a kid so that we could make pasta necklaces.  That was always so much fun!
Today, I wanted to try dyeing cooked pasta noodles for Rosie and Jewel to use in sensory activities.   Why sensory play, you ask?  Read on for more on that and to see how we made colorful rainbow spaghetti.

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Before I reveal how to make these awesome noodles let me share a little bit about sensory play and why it is beneficial.

The Benefits of Sensory Exploration for Kids

Sensory play helps to build nerve connections in the brain. 
Sensory activities prompt children to use scientific processes while they play.
Engaging the senses while presenting kids with a learning task helps them to retain the information and fully comprehend the material.
Sensory play is therapeutic on an emotional level and helps to calm and soothe children during difficult times.
Sensory play facilitates language development, problem solving skills, cognitive function, and fine-motor development.
Playing with sensory materials helps children to develop their creative process.

Read more on the benefits of sensory play:

The Benefits of Sensory Play
Why Sensory Play?

Now, back to those noodles!
Making rainbow noodles is a really fun process that leads to lots of engaging and educational exploration.  Are you ready to play with the rainbow?
How to Dye Cooked Pasta


Cooked pasta noodles
Zip-seal bags
Food coloring
Vegetable oil
A play bin or container


Begin by cooking the desired amount of pasta noodles as instructed on the box. We used spaghetti noodles this time, but you can use any type of noodle.
Rinse the spaghetti under cold water until cool throughout.

Divide the noodles into bags, using one bag for each color of pasta that you wish to make.
Add several drops of food coloring to each bag along with a small drop of vegetable oil.  

The oil just helps to coat the noodles in color while allowing you to use less of it.
Seal the bags tightly. Then, give them to kids to shake and squish. 
Have kids continue to mix the bags until the noodles are fully saturated in color.

Once saturated open the bags and allow the noodles to dry for 20-30 minutes.  This gives the dye time to seep into the pasta while also preventing stained skin.  
Once dry pour the spaghetti into a bin for PLAY!

Add kitchen gadgets, play tools, treasure coins, and more, and kids are sure to have a blast!

Rosie and Jewel had so much fun and couldn't stop giggling as they squished and stirred the gooey, rainbow noodles.  I mean, what could be cooler than a squishy, slimy rainbow? 

Extend the Fun
Try painting with spaghetti noodles.

Rosie LOVED this activity when she was younger!

Tips & Storage:

When playtime is over store any leftover noodles in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, and they can be used for up to one week.  
If you are concerned about stained hands you may want to use washable watercolors in place of food coloring.  

I'd especially like to highlight that noodles make a great first sensory material for babies and toddlers still in the mouthing stage.  Jewel loved to play with any leftover dinner pasta when she was a tot!

Just look at that beautiful baby smile!  It's what my heart beats for.


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