Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stringing and Sorting Colored Pasta

  • various uncooked Pasta Shapes
  • rubbing alcohol 
  • food coloring 
  • zip lock bags
  • plastic lacing

How to make: 
To color the pasta, pour about 1/4 cup of alcohol and about 10 drops of food coloring into a zip lock baggie and mix thoroughly. Add 1-2 cups of uncooked pasta into the zip lock baggie and shake the mixtures vigorously to completely cover the pasta with the alcohol and food coloring mixture. Let the pasta mixture sit for one hour and then turn the baggie over and let it sit for another hour. You can let the pasta, alcohol, and food coloring mixture sit for as long as it takes to get the deepest color pasta you are looking for. If your pasta is not dark enough then just repeat the first few steps again until your pasta reaches the desired shade of coloring you are looking for. The longer the pasta sits in the alcohol and food coloring mixture, the deeper the color. Once your pasta has reached the desired color, drain the pasta and separate it into groups of like colors on a cookie sheet that has been lined with wax paper. Let the colored pasta dry overnight.

Create necklaces, bracelets and anklets using the colored pasta and colored strings (NOTE: before your child begins, you will need to tie one piece of pasta in a knot at the end of the string, so that the rest of the pasta shapes do not fall off!)

Younger Children:
talk to your child about the different colors of pasta and the different shapes of pasta; show your child how to string a piece of pasta on the cord; allow your child to "freely design" a necklace; have your child sort the pasta by color; have your child sort the pasta by shape.

Older Children:
give your child a pattern to follow to string onto the cord

Jillian, 20 months old
20-month-old Jillian likes to pick out all the wagon wheel pasta shapes, but doesn't pay attention to the other shapes yet, nor is she able to string them.

Leah, 2.5 years old
This is one of Leah's favorites. She was able to sort "flower" shaped pasta pretty easily. She doesn't have any trouble stringing a variety of the shapes, either. She likes making necklaces for herself and others. We did have some trouble keeping the pasta on the string - she would accidentally knock some off the back end, even when the string wasn't full. I tried putting the tip of the string sideways through a paper clip so it was "clamped." That was effective in preventing pasta from sliding off, but Leah didn't want it there.

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