Shaped pasta is a great resource for play activities; sorting is a fun pastime that helps to develop analytical thinking. Add some colour and, hey presto, you have something that will keep your toddler amused whilst doing a simple maths activity.
To colour the pasta, you can use food colouring but I found that liquid paints (I got mine from the children’s section in Sainsbury’s) produced a brighter and more appealing effect. All you do is pour some paint into a plastic bag, add the pasta (I used penne), and swish it all about until the pasta is completely covered. Spread the wet pasta out on a tray covered in cling film and leave to dry. It’s a good idea to turn the shapes from time to time to ensure they don’t stick and are completely dry. This could take a few hours so perhaps do it the day before you intend to use – otherwise your helper may get a bit impatient! I left some penne unpainted to add another colour.
My nephew and I have made pasta bracelets and necklaces by threading onto pipe cleaners but today I wanted to see what he would do with the coloured pasta when left to his own devices. I also provided clear plastic boxes (from take-aways!), spoons, a jug and small containers. I thought he may sort the pasta into colours, however I was probably being a little ahead of myself here! Lol!
First of all, Jacob ran his fingers through the pasta exploring the textures and grabbed small amounts in his hands before letting them fall back into the tray. For the most part though, he scooped and poured using the utensils available. He delighted in simply exploring the sensory elements – feeling, mixing, transferring from one container to another.
Later, he discovered that the pasta shapes would make a good shaking instrument but ‘sorting’ as I imagined? – forget it! However that doesn’t mean to say the activity was a waste of time – far from it. He played, he explored and experimented. Just not in the way I expected J!
Hope you have a lovely weekend.
Love from Chamomile Baby x x
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