Rainbow spaghetti is a FUN and terrific sensory activity for kids to work on improving fine motor skills. Making colored spaghetti is a breeze and all you need are common supplies you probably already have!
My kids love messy play and doing sensory activities such as Green ‘Grass’ Colored Rice. Rainbow spaghetti takes that experience a step further – and it’s SO much fun!
They love digging their hands into this colored spaghetti and playing with all the strands of various colors.
They also love it when I make DIY Nutella Edible Playdough so they can play with it.
I guess these are exceptions to the “don’t play with your food” rule! 😂
And I know my kids aren’t the only ones who love sensory activities!
Toddlers, preschoolers, and older kids will all enjoy hands-on art and playing with dyed spaghetti. The good news is that rainbow spaghetti is edible so there aren’t any worries about them eating it.
Note: If you love rainbows as much as we do, you’ll definitely want to check out our:
- Fun & Easy Rainbow Walking Water Experiment
- DIY Rainbow Bath Bomb Recipe
- Fruity Cocomelon Rainbow Popsicles
How to make rainbow spaghetti
Your kids will LOVE this sensory activity! Here’s everything you need to know to make it.
Rainbow spaghetti recipe supplies needed
Gather together these supplies to make rainbow spaghetti for sensory play:
- 1 box of spaghetti noodles (supplies to prepare: pot, water, colander, olive oil, pan)
- Food dye coloring – rainbow colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple
- 6 plastic zipper sandwich bags
- Large pan
- Sensory bin
Note: This is a taste-safe recipe!
Rainbow spaghetti instructions
Just follow these simple step-by-step directions so kids of all ages can start having sensory fun!
Cook the pasta noodles according to the directions on the packaging to al dente. Drain using a colander.
Mix 1-2 tbsp cooking oil (like olive oil) with the noodles after cooking to prevent the spaghetti noodles from sticking to each other.
Note: Do not use too much or it may be too oily. Just start out with a few drops at a time. (This will help the noodles move about freely in the child’s hands during sensory play vs. it clumping into a sticky, giant mess!)
Place the plain uncolored spaghetti noodles on a pan and allow the noodles to cool down completely.
Once the noodles are cooled down, separate the noodles into equal amounts and put them inside separate resealable bags.
Squirt food coloring into each packet of cooked spaghetti. You’ll want to use approximately 20+ drops of food coloring for each bag to give the noodles vibrant color and make rainbow spaghetti.
Close each bag well and gently shake it to dye the noodles.
If you notice that some of the rainbow noodles aren’t colored well, manipulate the bag with your hand to mix the color around some more. If you need more dye feel free to can add more drops of food coloring.
When the noodles are colored completely, transfer them to a large pan to help the noodles dry a little and take a peek at those beautiful vibrant colors!.
Rainbow spaghetti notes and tips
- Since we use a little bit of oil on the noodles, it will give the noodles a slightly oily texture. To keep the mess to a minimum, have your child wear a smock or have a set of paper towels nearby to wipe their hands when they’re done playing. And make sure to wash hands after use.
- You can keep the spaghetti in the pan or transfer it to a sensory bin.
- Let your child explore the rainbow spaghetti as a sensory activity and have fun mixing the colors together.
How to play with rainbow spaghetti
This sensory play activity makes an easy great sensory experience for toddlers, pre-k, kindergarten, and even older children.
Let them make a rainbow? Try braiding the noodles together! Mix the colors all together! Make shapes and pictures with the noodles…the sky is the limit!
Playing with rainbow spaghetti is a great way to practice color recognition and identification!
Rainbow spaghetti FAQs
Sensory play encourages children to use all parts of their brains as they explore items using all their senses!
There are SO many benefits of sensory play for kids, including building creativity, curiosity, exploration, problem-solving, and more! Playing with a variety of sensory materials helps to develop motor skills and language development skills as kiddos build nerve connections in their brains.
Not at all! This rainbow pasta recipe is super simple – it just takes a little time to cook and dye the noodles.
Yes, if you leave it out in the air, the noodles will dry out. And that will give kids a new texture to explore with their senses!
Extend the activity
Explore using different colors! You can use all the colors of the rainbow or try making pastel-colored pasta. Explore the concept of the transfer of colors – what happens when you mix colored pasta together? What happens if you mix bags of dyed spaghetti together before the noodles dry (and the colors set)?
While my kids played with the rainbow spaghetti, I read the book, ‘A Rainbow of my Own‘ by Don Freeman. We’ve also read How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow by Monica Sweeney and enjoyed it!
More sensory and crafting fun activities
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