Rainbow Dyed Noodles

RAINBOW NOODLES FOR KIDS- recipes, ideas, and ways to play!
I remember dying noodles as a kid so that we could make pasta necklaces.  That was always

so much fun!  Today, I wanted to try dying cooked pasta noodles for my girls to use for sensory play.   Why sensory play you ask?  Read on for more on that and to see how we dyed our noodles and then used them in play.

Rainbow Dyed
Noodles
RAINBOW NOODLES FOR KIDS- recipes, ideas, and ways to play!
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Before I show you how to make these awesome rainbow noodles let me share a little bit about sensory play and why it is beneficial.
The Benefits of Sensory Exploration
  • Sensory play helps to build nerve connections in the brain.
  • Sensory activities prompt children to use scientific processes while they play.
  • It is proven that engaging a child's senses while presenting them with a learning task helps them to retain the information and fully comprehend it.
  • Sensory play is therapeutic on an emotional level and helps to calm and soothe children during difficult times or before bed.
  • Sensory play facilitates language development, problem solving skills, cognitive function, and fine and gross motor skills.
  • Playing with sensory materials helps children to develop their creative process. 
Read more on the benefits of sensory play here and here.

Ok, now back to those noodles!  

Making rainbow noodles is a really fun process for kids that leads to lots of fun and educational play.  Are you ready play with the rainbow?

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Materials
Note:  We used cooked spaghetti noodles here, but you can use any type of noodle.  All types are fun!

Method
  • Begin by cooking your pasta noodles as normal and then rinsing them under cold water
RAINBOW NOODLES FOR KIDS- recipes, ideas, and ways to play!
  • 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 drop of vegetable oil.  The oil just helps to coat the noodles in color.
  • Seal the bags and give them to kids to shake and squish. Continue to mix the bags until the noodles are fully saturated in color.
RAINBOW NOODLES FOR KIDS- recipes, ideas, and ways to play!
  • Once the noodles are fully saturated open the bags and allow them to sit for 10-15 minutes so that the color can seep into the noodles.  Then, rinse the noodles under cold water to remove any excess food coloring.
RAINBOW NOODLES FOR KIDS- recipes, ideas, and ways to play!
Note: Rinsing the pasta helps to remove any excess food coloring, but kids hands may still get tinged during play.

Then, play can begin! 
RAINBOW NOODLES FOR KIDS- recipes, ideas, and ways to play!
We poured our noodles into a sensory bin in "almost" rainbow order.  The girls were so excited to dive in and start playing!
RAINBOW NOODLES FOR KIDS- recipes, ideas, and ways to play!
As soon as two-year-old Jewel touched the spaghetti she began to shriek and giggle, exclaiming, "It's slimy, mommy."
RAINBOW NOODLES FOR KIDS- recipes, ideas, and ways to play!
Both girls had a blast exploring with their "spaghetti slime" and found all sorts of ways to play!
RAINBOW NOODLES FOR KIDS- recipes, ideas, and ways to play!
They pretended to cook, played restaurant, and sorted the noodles by color.  They had so much fun playing and couldn't stop giggling as they squished and stirred the slimy noodles
RAINBOW NOODLES FOR KIDS- recipes, ideas, and ways to play!
I mean, come on- a slimy rainbow: what could be more fun thank that?

Extend the Fun
There are tons of other fun ways kids can play with their rainbow pasta, too!  Rosie had a blast spaghetti painting with some leftover noodles from dinner a few years ago
RAINBOW NOODLES FOR KIDS- recipes, ideas, and ways to play!
Noodles also make a great first sensory material for babies and toddlers who are still in the mouthing stage.  Jewel loved to play with any left over noodles when she was a tot
RAINBOW NOODLES FOR KIDS- recipes, ideas, and ways to play!

Other fun ways to use your noodles:

Tips & Storage:  When playtime is over your pasta can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.  If you are concerned about stained hands you may want to use washable water colors in place of food coloring.  However, any staining from the food coloring will wash off of kids hands by days end. 
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More Fun Activities
to try:

FUN KID PROJECT:  Make glow-in-the-dark noodles for arts, crafts, and sensory play.  This is awesome!
FUN KID PROJECT:  Make scratch & sniff paint (only 3 ingredients!)
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SPAGHETTI SLIME: the coolest playtime for kids ever!  (Ooey-gooey and taste-safe!)

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