Summer is upon us, and for those of us with little ones, that means getting creative when filling our days. My oldest daughter started preschool this past year, and now that she is out for the summer, she is looking to me to come up with as many fun activities as her energetic 21 year old preschool teacher did. Whew. THAT is a tough order to fill.
However, I did have a recent win. We made necklaces out of dyed pasta (rigatoni, to be exact), and the girls had a blast stringing the noodles and making necklaces. Pasta necklaces – these are a rite of passage during childhood, aren’t they?
Tools for the Task
Pasta (I used rigatoni because it was easier to string and my girls are 2 and 3. I suspect you could get more creative with older children.)
1. Poor 1/3 cup of rubbing alcohol into a ziploc bag. Add 6 drops of food coloring to the bag and mix it gently by squeezing the bag.
2. Add one cup of pasta to the bag and zip closed carefully (you want to prevent any “dye” from leaking out). Move the pasta around in the bag, coating it as much as possible.
3. Place the bag on a cookie sheet and let sit. During this time, the pasta will continue to absorb color. I let mine sit for about 15 minutes. Be careful not to let it sit for too long, or the pasta will start to get mushy and take longer to dry.
4. After 15 minutes or so, take the pasta out of the bags and place on paper towels on a cookie sheet to dry. You can place them in the oven on 200 degrees, or if you are having a sunny day, just place the tray in the sun. I did place my tray in the sun, and they were dry in less than 30 minutes. (If putting the tray in the oven, you’ll want to remove the paper towels.)
5. Cut string or yarn to a desired length and let the kids go to town making necklaces.
Note – If you are concerned about using the rubbing alcohol, I’ve also read that you can use white vinegar. The only difference is that your colors will not be as brilliant.