Sundays with Nora: Dyed Spaghetti Sensory Play

My Sundays with Nora turned out differently than I hoped. As you may recall, I had four consecutive Sunday afternoons on my own with Nora, when I hoped to try crafts from Pinterest.

Week One we played with home made finger paints. Success! Week Two, Aaron had a vicious, evil stomach virus, so I couldn’t try a new craft while caring for the both of them. Finger painting again, with more painting and less eating. Week Three, I tried beans and lentils in various containers, to make rattles. We ended up opening the containers and spilling lentils on the carpet. Fail…and lots of vacuuming.

This week, our final week, I wanted to try food dyed spaghetti, which I did. We had an ice storm here, so Aaron missed his bike class, but I had already made the spaghetti.


Red and green food dye and water, waiting to boil.

It’s incredibly easy to make. You simply boil water, colored with food dye (I used about 15 drops per quart) and cook the spaghetti as normal. Some colors, like red and green, turned out better than others. Blue was identical to green, thanks to the yellow tinge of my pasta.

After the spaghetti cooled, I scrupulously cleaned one of her play tables, so that we could just dump the spaghetti there.


Spaghetti, but prettier.

Nora took to it immediately. We had two old plastic margarine containers that she scooped the spaghetti into, like a bucket. The problem was, she also wanted to out the spaghetti on the floor.



She thinks the floor needs more spaghetti.

But, I didn’t scrupulously clean the floor. Because I don’t think like a toddler…yet. I could see food particles and dust bunnies and I know our cats walk there. Ew. Once I let go of my need to keep the spaghetti neatly on the table, we had a lot of fun. She loved flinging it, standing on it, scooping it into buckets, and generally reveling in its sticky-slimy-colorful glory.


This is when it is such a blessing to have a toddler, when I get to get down on the floor and dig into my senses. This is the fun part.


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