Let’s add noodles into our sensory play.
Last week we tried noodle sensory play with cooked pasta. It was part squishy and a whole lot of messy. The boys pressed the noodles through the garlic press and sliced them through the egg cutter.
Although this cooked noodle sensory play was a blast, it was pretty much one and done. The cooked, colored noodles were tossed in the garbage shortly after the boys were finished.
So this time around, let’s try something more sustainable.
This time, we colored dry noodles, and it is another sensory play win!
RELATED: First time with a sensory bin? Start here!
I measure sensory play success on the play to cleanup ratio.
Here, the play outdid the cleanup by a landslide.
My newly turned two-year-old scooped and poured his little heart out to gain a better understanding of capacity and mass.
My two-year-old was also exploring:
- Filing and dumping
- Independent play
- Sounds and vibrations
Just like the activities we have listed in our favorite ideas for toddlers, this noodle sensory bin was open-ended and timeless!
His expression when the noodles would spill over was priceless! As the dry noodles toppled out, you could hear them clang together. It was a calming sound that begins to explore how vibrations create sounds.
When it was time to clean up, we gathered them in our hands and placed the noodles in the storage container for future use.
RELATED: Take a look at our 40+ Activities for One-Year-Olds here. It is loaded with even more ideas for your toddler.
In the middle of coloring the noodles, something happened.
As I shook the different colors in each bag, I realized that I didn’t add enough food coloring to each plastic bag. Oh no!
I also didn’t have any more food coloring to add.
Cue mom guilt: Okay, when my two-year-old wakes, we will run out and get some more to add.
Cue reality: Kids do not need perfection. In fact, they rarely even ask for it. Not perfect? Roll with it.
Noodles with a touch of color and/or noodles that are perfectly colored work just fine when you are two. In fact, they also work for other ages as well.
Set up noodle sensory play in minutes!
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One of my favorite books helps me better understand how loose parts, such as dried noodles, help my children learn Loose Parts Two. This is a great resource to add to your collection if you are curious about integrating everyday objects into play.
I also turned to A Crafty Living to help with how to color the noodles. See her directions here.
Steps to prep the noodles for sensory play
- Divide noodles into different plastic bags, or use a storage container.
- Add a couple of drops of food coloring.
- Add a small amount of rubbing alcohol. – optional
- Shake each bag or reusable container.
- Put the colored noodles on a baking pan.
- Cook for a couple of minutes on low heat. I did seven minutes at 300 degrees.
- Allow noodles to cool.
- Get ready for some fun!
Supplies you need for noodle play.
What else is added to the sensory bin?
You will have to see our collection in our outdoor supply bin. It is a fun mix of items around the house along with a handful of Dollar Store and Amazon supplies.
- White noodle container – Also used as a kid bath toy storage organizer.
- 41-quart storage bin
- metal scooper
- funnel set
Does the coloring stain hands?
For us, the food coloring did not stain.
However, it is not 100% foolproof. I do occasionally see discoloration on the kid’s hands that I can wash off. You can look for less toxic food coloring online or purchase the pasta already colored found in the grocery store. Whichever you use will sure to be a success.
We love sensory play so much that we have a dedicated sensory page with all of our favorites!
When will you set up noodle sensory play for your toddler?