Whether you are looking to add a little interest to your spaghetti dish for the kids to enjoy or to create some coloured noodles for sensory play with your kids then this recipe for dyed spaghetti is simple and easy to make plus you can store it to use later. So here you go or a quick and easy step-by-step guide on how to make coloured spaghetti.
Rainbow Spaghetti Recipe
Spaghetti or noodles make a fantastic play material and food for your kids to enjoy. Whether you are doing some simple sensory play with your young toddler or creating a tasty dish for Halloween rainbow noodles make a fun addition.
This recipe uses a little oil to help the food colouring to stick to the pasta which makes them a little slippery ideal for adding an extra element to the sensory play and preventing the spaghetti from sticking together when served to your child.
How to Colour Spaghetti for Sensory Play
Sensory play is great for all kids, we had to create a lot of taste-safe sensory play for my youngest as they would put everything in their mouth. So coloured pasta which was edible was one of my go-to materials for the sensory bins and tubs.
Check out our 12 Months of Sensory Bins for Toddlers and Preschoolers for some inspiration.
It’s really simple to make, you’re just going to need some cooked spaghetti, a little oil (we used olive but other oils will work just as well) and food colourings.
How to Dye Pasta for Crafts
If you are dying pasta for the purpose of crafts you want to use dry pasta. Or for sensory play for older kids, that don’t put everything in their mouths. Then you will need to use a different method.
The rainbow spaghetti recipe we have here is edible and will not work for crafts or dried pasta. As although it will stain the pasta the colour will come off on your child’s hands.
Instead, this method for dying pasta should be used.
Ingredients for Making Rainbow Spaghetti
- Cooked and cooled spaghetti
- Olive oil – other oils will work
- Liquid food colouring (rainbow colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)
- 6 plastic zipper sandwich bags
How to Dye Spaghetti
1. Separate your cooled cooked spaghetti into the 6 different sandwich bags
2. Add a couple of drops of oil to each bag and mix the spaghetti around so that it is thoroughly coated. Less is better you can always add more later if needed.
3. Add around 20 drops of the liquid food colouring to each bag. These will produce a vibrant colour when finished. Using less food colouring the colour will be less vibrant and more pastel.
4. Seal the bags and then squish around to create colour, you may need to add more food colouring or oil so that all the noodles are coated.
TOP TIP! – Once the pasta is dyed transfer to a colander and then rinse under cold water. This will remove the excess dye and prevent your child’s hands from being coloured as they play.
5. Place in the sensory tub, bin or tray for some simple sensory play.
Spaghetti Sensory Play Ideas
How to Store your Dyed Pasta for Sensory Play
It’s always been part of my parenting that we don’t waste play materials but using just once so it was essential that this coloured sensory pasta be stored and last more than the one session.
It’s easy to do just place in an air tight contained in the fridge and you can bring out for sensory play for a few more days.
How Long does Stored Coloured Spaghetti Last
In the fridge in the sealed container the colored spaghetti will last up to 5 days. So you could prepare the spaghetti at the beginning of the week and use it for a sensory tub for the week.
It may last less time depending on the number of children using the sensory tub and the conditions in your room so keep an eye on it and make up a new batch as you see is needed.
Quick Rainbow Spaghetti Sensory Tub
Sensory play doesn’t have to be complicated to set up you can quickly put together a sensory tub for your little ones to enjoy.
What Supplies do you need for a Rainbow Pasta Sensory Bin
- Coloured Rainbow Spaghetti
- Tub or tray
How to Set up a Rainbow Sensory Bin with Dyed Pasta
1. Lay the dyed noodles in rows in the sensory bin.
2. Invite your child to play
Fun additional supplies to your Spaghetti Sensory Tub
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We’ve got some simple suggestions of things that you could add to your sensory spaghetti play for your toddlers and preschoolers.
I discovered this set of coloured sensory tubs and love them. as they have a sealable lid and are around 12″ by 12″ they are great for individual play. The colours are a bonus as I was then able to theme them but also the clear one is ideal for this colourful rainbow sensory play.
I love this sensory sorting set which matches the rainbow spaghetti perfectly. You kids can add in a mix in the coloured pompoms, use the scissor scoops to collect them and the spaghetti and the small pincer tongs to pick up individual strands of different colours and place in the containers.
These tongs are fun and great for sensory play. The hands give a bigger surface area and as they are silicone and metal they can easily be added to the dishwasher to clean them ready for another day of sensory play for your kids.
I’ve seen a few people recommend wooden sensory play tools for this. However, I would not recommend these. The food colouring although unlikely to transfer may and you will then be left with stained tools which will never really return to their beautiful state. Instead this sensory tub is fantastic with the tools I have highlighted above.
Rainbow Spaghetti Recipe
- 6 zipped sandwich bags
- 1 pack Cooked and cooled spaghetti
- Olive oil Other oils will work
- Liquid food colouring red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple
- Separate your cooled cooked spaghetti into the 6 different sandwich bags
- Add a couple of drops of oil to each bag and mix the spaghetti around so that it is thoroughly coated. Less is better you can always add more later if needed.
- Add around 20 drops of the liquid food colouring to each bag. These will produce a vibrant colour when finished. Using less food colouring the colour will be less vibrant and more pastel.
- Seal the bags and then squish around to create colour, you may need to add more food colouring or oil so that all the noodles are coated.
- Place in the sensory tub, bin or tray for some simple sensory play.
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.