by Rachel Paxton

Kids love to play with pasta! Who knew something so simple and inexpensive could be so interesting to young children.

Dried pasta comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. If you don't already have some in your kitchen cupboard, you can find a variety of different pastas to choose from in the bulk section of your grocery store. Let your child go with you to pick it out.

Pasta can be used for a variety of craft projects, and it is very easy to dye. It takes only a few minutes to dye the pasta, and a couple of hours for it to dry.

To dye the pasta all you need is:

Pasta in different shapes and sizes
Food coloring
Rubbing alcohol
Several small bowls

Pour approximately 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol into each bowl. Add 10 or so drops of food coloring into each bowl, one bowl for each color. Drop the pasta into the bowl and stir gently with a spoon
for a few seconds.

Remove the pasta from the bowl and allow to dry for several hours on a paper plate. The colors will brighten as the pasta dries.

Your kids will enjoy playing with their colorful pasta. They can use it to create macaroni necklaces or they can glue pieces of pasta onto a sheet of paper for a creative work of art.

Children as young as two years old will enjoy counting and sorting the pasta into different piles. Have them separate the pasta by color or shape. They will have fun moving the pieces of
pasta from bowl to bowl.

Photo of dyed pasta shapes:

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit http://www.crafty-moms.com.

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