You can create some pretty amazing things just from your grocery cupboard. The next time your little one is complaining they can't think of something to do why not dig into your cupboards and create. This post came about because last week my kids were all at a loose end so I handed them some giant pasta tubes and told them to paint. We used neon acrylics to get these super vibrant colors but did you know you can paint pasta with food coloring and vinegar? No need to ever buy special paints again! Anyway I'll share what we did because this invitation kept them busy and led to a few other play ideas.
You will need:
Pasta Tubes (Rigatoni or the likes)
Paint - acrylic as shown, or dye pasta using liquid water color/food coloring and vinegar
No cookPlay doh - created using flour, salt, oil, water, food coloring, cream of tarter, scent
I don't have pictures of this part of the process but its pretty self explanatory. Get pasta, add children and paint. We used brushes - how conventional - you could easily bulk color the pasta in bags with paint, play a roll the pasta around game where you add pasta and paint and roll, you could splatter paint or dip it. Really the ways to paint the pasta are endless but at the end you need to end up with a nice selection of painted tubes. We stood ours on their ends to dry and once dry stored them in a jar.
The Play doh
To make the play doh I followed our no cook method which you can read here in more detail. Since I learnt how to make this no cook dough I never buy shop bought any more. Yes, it doesn't last as long as store bought but my kids throw it around so much the shop bought never used to last long either. This dough is edible (although tastes yuk) and I know exactly what my little one is eating if they are still at the put it in your mouth phase. It is also so super easy to make, takes less than 5 minutes in my kitchen aid that even my kids make it for themselves these days!
This recipe requires the following:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tbl spoon oil
2 tbl spoons cream of tartar
A few drops of black food coloring
A few drops of Anise extract
Mix all together then add one cup of hot water
Whizz on high for a minute or two and your done. If its sticky add a little more flour. Keep in a sealed container until ready to use. This play doh smells so good, you of course could use any scent but the smell of Anise went perfectly with our jet black play doh and bright colored pasta.
Let the kids loose with the doh and the pasta. show them how they can build structures using the play doh as glue or how they can create shapes and patterns in the dough using the pasta.
You could even jar a little up and give it as a home made gift.
An alternative to play doh would be to give your child a jar of the colorful pasta and a piece of yarn, ask them to thread a necklace for that special someone.
I tape the end of the yarn to make it easier for little fingers to thread.
This activity can lend itself to all sorts of maths patterns, counting and early sequencing. Plus you end up with a pretty awesome necklace.
Have fun with it and if you make anything be sure to tag us on IG with your creations we would love to see them! Our IG account is @thebluebarn.