Colored Pasta Tutorial and Activities
Colored pasta is an inexpensive, fun way to teach your toddler a wide range of beginning math skills. Your tot will think they are just playing but they will be soaking up knowledge, and if you let your little one help you can add in a science lesson by mixing colors such as red and yellow to make orange or yellow and blue to create green.
- 2 cups of pasta (for each color)
- 2 tsps. Food Coloring (gel or liquid)
- 2 tsps. rubbing alcohol
- Ziploc Bags
- Gloves ( unless you are interested in coloring your hands also in which case…carry on)
Mix the alcohol with the food coloring in the baggie and then add the pasta. Put all into a Ziploc bag. Massage pasta and coloring, making sure to cover the pasta with the liquid. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to absorb (Do not let it sit any longer than this as pasta will become gummy) Massage bag again for even distribution. Spread pasta out and allow it to dry for at least an hour.
Begin with the basics ; Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple. Give your child a bowl of mixed pasta, and an empty, clean muffin tin. Sit with your child and encourage them to sort the pasta by colors or shape. Reinforce their knowledge by calling out colors as they pick them up, or ask your child to name the color.
Patterning is a very important beginning math skill. Begin with abab patterns (red,yellow,red,yellow) encourage your child to copy your pattern or make one of her own. Lay out a simple pattern line and ask your child to mirror the pattern underneath. If your child masters simple patterns move onto patterns like abc and aabb.
Begin by placing several pieces of pasta out on the table, show your child how to point to each piece as you count. This teaches one to one correspondence and will show your little one to count in an orderly fashion. Start with no more than 5 as not to overwhelm your child, when they master that add more or maybe even basic addition or subtraction. “ How many are left if I take away 1?”
Fine Motor Development
Cut a piece of yarn or string approximately inches in length. Tape one end tightly with a piece of masking tape. Slide a piece of tubular pasta over the tape to the other end, wrap around pasta and tie in a knot. Give you child a bowl of the tube shaped pasta and demonstrate how to thread necklace.
Use colored pasta as a base for sensory bins. Some ideas are to use all colors, add cotton balls for clouds and use it as a Rainbow bin to teach or reinforce colors. All blue would be fantastic with some plastic ocean animals for an Ocean Bin. Red, yellow, and orange for a fall bin with some silk leaves, and acorns to spark a discussion on Fall themes. Give your child empty cups, spoons, tongs, etc and you can extend the learning even farther. Pouring and pinching with tongs develop fine motor skills. Filling containers Science and math come into play.
Check out …
- Six Awesome Ways to do Water Play with Kids – Pin It
- Make Colored Rice – Pin It
- Rainy Day Activities Round-Up – Pin It
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