Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dying Pasta

Today was my turn to teach the little mom-taught preschool group I do with a bunch of girlfriends. The theme for the month is art.  And I've always wanted to try dying pasta.  So, I googled it and a short time later had a marvelous collection of bright noodles...

This was so easy.

All you need is:

Plastic baggies you can seal closed
Dry pasta in different shapes
Food coloring
Rubbing alcohol

Simply throw a bunch of dry pasta in a baggie, add about a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol (more or less depending on how much pasta you put in the bag...I tended to dump too much alcohol in and then it was all too runny, but it dried. Just took longer), drops of food coloring (how much depends on how bright you want your pasta) and then seal it and smoosh it around, without breaking up the pasta. 

Then you spread it out on a baking sheet to dry.  The rubbing alcohol helps it dry faster.

I just used the pasta I had on hand.  We dyed small shells, big bowties, rigatoni, macaroni and the teeny tiny ditalini that ended up looking like small beads.  I might use it to try making jewelry with Zoe. It should be easy for her to string onto some cording. 

My 6 yo, Sam was home "sick" from school yesterday.  He has a cold, but I think he probably would have been fine at school.  But I let him stay home and have a nap and veg out.  He and Zoe also helped dye the pasta.  They loved it!  It was fun for them to pick some food coloring and see the pasta change color.

Then this morning the preschool kids had fun gluing the pasta to cardboard....

One little girl was sick, so I'm planning on taking a Pasta Collage Kit over to her. 

First we used tacky glue and the kids dipped the pasta shapes into it and then tried to put them on the cardboard.  Mmmmm, no, this didn't work too well.  You would think it wouldn't be too hard for them to dip and stick.  But they ended up with hands covered in glue.  I mean really covered.  And then they started trying to pick it off. 

So, then I tried watering down some glue and we used sponge brushes to spread the glue on and then they stuck the pasta into the glue or sprinkled it on like glitter. 

Here's Zoe's cute little cousin attempting the brush technique...

Yep. The brush definitely worked better.  But next time I would simply use Elmer's Glue.  It would be runny enough and easier to work with than that thick tacky glue. 

And here is Zoe proudly displaying her Pasta Collage (she started feeling kind of crummy toward the end of the project so she stopped working on it, but after this picture she wanted to get busy again and put a lot more pasta on it! Yeah. It's really covered now.)....

I like to give the kids a lot of unstructured play time.  So, I cleared off our big coffee table and covered it with lots of big wood blocks and little toy animals, food, people and parts. They had a grand time creating little worlds with the bits and pieces. 

We also read some books and talked about the illustrations.

 We read I Got Two Dogs, A Vistor for Bear and Sailor Moo.   As I was holding Sailor Moon up I said, "Is this art?" and one child said, "No. It's a cow." 

When I began reading A Visitor for Bear, I realized the kids probably didn't know what a visitor really was.  So, I explained it was someone who comes to see you.  The little boy in the group (Yes. There's only one...luckily being outnumbered by girls hasn't seemed to bother him yet) spoke up, "I don't like..." and here I thought he was going to say he doesn't like visitors.  Nope.
"I don't like people to put me in jail I'm going to be spiderman for Christmas."
"I mean Halloween."

Don't you just love the random nature of small children? 


  1. I can only imagine the constant flow of awesome statements that would come from a group of preschool kids.

    Your pasta turned out great. My kids would love to do that...me, not so much. ;)

  2. Thanks! :) You should give it a try. Really. It was sooooo easy. Riley would love it.

  3. Elina LOOVVEES her collage btw. She has decided to put a few on every day. I'm impressed at her dedication!! Thanks for bringing it over :)


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