Rainbow pasta


One of my son’s favourite toys when he was younger, was a tub of multicoloured pasta shapes. He spent hours playing with it, scooping, pouring and pretending to cook me dinner.


Rainbow pasta is really easy to make, it keeps for ages if you keep it dry and in a sealed container. I’ve just gotten the original tub of pasta out for his baby brother to play with and it’s in perfect condition still.


Older children can use the pasta for counting games or threading onto string to make jewellery or pretend snakes. Younger children can enjoy filling up containers and bottles, making shakers, using spoons to scoop and stir or pretend play at cooking.


The first thing you need is pasta, any kind and shape will do. We tend to use up pasta that has gone out of date in the cupboard, over time this means we have gradually added more and more different types and shapes of pasta to our box. But you can just as easily buy a cheap packet of pasta shapes from the shops to use.


Pour the pasta out onto the side and devide it into separate piles for each of  the different colours you wish to make.

Next you need paint. You can use ordinary poster paints but I found the colours tended to run and rub off onto clothes and hands. So we used acrylic paints which are harder wearing, don’t run and seem to preserve the pasta for much longer.


You need roughly a teaspoons worth of paint, and a 2 tablespoons worth of water mixed together in the bottom of a plastic bag. Please note: You only need to use one plastic bag for all the colours, as you can wash/rinse it out after each batch and resuse it again and again for each new colour.


Place your pasta in with the paint and the water in the bag. Tie up the bag tightly so no paint can escape then  massage, rub and shake the pasta around inside the bag until it’s entirely covered in paint.

If for some reason there isn’t enough paint to cover the pasta/it comes out looking patchy, just simply add more paint and water into the bag and put you pasta back in the bag for another coat.


When it’s fully coated lay it out on recycled paper (we used grease proof paper recycled after baking) to dry. You need to spread it out carefully so the pasta shapes don’t stick together as they dry.  It only takes an few hours to dry and then it’s ready to use straight away.


You can make as many colours as you like. I added glitter into some of the batches I originally made (years ago for my son) I also kept some of the pasta shapes plain as I liked the contrast.


We added in pots, tins, tins and bottles to the pasta box for him to use for scooping, drilling and pouring from. As well as some old wooden spoons that we brightened up with acrylic paint faces and patterns.

If you like this you might like to try:

Nature playdough


7 fun and different ice play ideas to try


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