We have enjoyed playing with dried pasta lately. I let the kids choose which shapes of pasta they would like when we do the groceries. Different shapes are suited to different activities, but all are great for keeping little minds and little hands busy. Here are three easy ideas to try!
- Pasta pictures. I put out small bowls with a handful of different pasta shapes in each. I also put out sturdy squares of cardboard, and PVA glue. For Mr 2’s picture I spread glue thinly over his whole page so that he could stick pasta where ever he liked. “Stick! Stick! Stick!” he said each time he glued a piece of pasta to his card. He was very proud of his finished product! For Miss 4, I put the PVA into a small yoghurt container with a cotton bud to use as a brush. As you might expect with a four year old, she had an idea in mind and set about creating her image with carefully placed pieces of pasta. As you might also expect with a four year old, I had NO idea what she was creating so had to ask some sensitive, open ended questions to allow her to explain her work. (Her pasta picture was playground!)
- Pasta Sculptures. The addition of playdough makes 3D sculptures very achievable. Miss 4 had tried to glue some of her pasta pieces so that they would stand up on the page, but was frustrated with process of making it happen. This lead us to the idea of using playdough with the pasta. Again, we shouldn’t make any assumptions about children’s art. Instead of asking, “What is it?” or worse, guessing “Is that a …?” I usually say, “Can you tell me about what you’ve made?” I might have guessed the creation above is an echidna, but actually it is an island with lots of rocks and sticks and some very tall trees on it.
- Pasta necklaces. Both of my kids like dress up beads, and pasta provides excellent threading opportunities. Large shells with large holes are perfect for little ones who are developing their fine motor skills. Smaller shells with smaller holes prove more of a challenge for older children. We also added some pieces of coloured paper simply punched with a hole in the centre for some bling!
Do you have any other pasta play ideas to add? Leave a comment below…