- October 18, 2012
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I love sensory activities for kids. Nothing gets their creativity gears turning like a good hands-on activity.
Kids learn in a number of ways, but I hands-on is definitely a favorite here. One of our latest sensory discoveries has been playing with cooked spaghetti. I remember doing this in preschool as a child. And I’m sure most preschools still do this quite often!
Now that the weather is nicer I am more likely to do these type of messy play activities. Once the kids are done and we clean up, any scrap piece of spaghetti can be left alone for the birds. My kind of clean up!
Anyway, here is what we do. I boil a box or two of spaghetti noodles. You want them pretty close to Al Dente. Too over cooked and they will break too easily. Too undercooked and they won’t act the way a noodle should. When the noodles are cooked and drained I add a splash of vegetable oil so that the noodles won’t become too sticky. Then divide the noodles into containers, or zip top bags. Add in a generous amount of food coloring and mix everything together. While the food coloring is absorbing into the noodles, get your play area set up. We do this in our garage.
I brought out pots and pans, various spoons and kitchen utensils, as well as safety scissors. On the floor I used chalk to draw shapes, numbers, and letters. I might have drawn a happy face or two as well. Then I let my kids get to it. I love that an activity like this is great for multiple ages. My five year old has as much fun as my two year old, and even my nine month old gets in the mix.
My son swore the noodles were worms and brains, while my daughter used them for hair on my happy faces or put the noodles on the shapes on the floor. My youngest mostly just felt, squished, and sampled (gross!) while in his high chair. But, everyone had a good time!