Rainbow spaghetti is probably one of my favorite group activities. I first did it when I was teaching a baby art class right before I started caregiving Pearl. There’s something just so whimsical and delightful about a huge batch of vivid rainbow spaghetti.
What usually happens is the kids come in and stare at it in awe. What is this beautiful substance? Is it what I think it is?
I highly recommend this as a group-only activity. I’ve tried with just one, and it just doesn’t work unless you have the brave kid that will try anything. But get a group together and they’ll come out of their shells. It’s really neat to watch kids teach other kids how to play. In this case it was one of Pearl’s admirers from down the street. He plunged right in.
All it takes is one.
Then, before you know it, everyone is having fun.
To prolong the fun, throw in soft mixing utensils. In this case we used spatulas and tongs so that they could manipulate it and mix it up. I also threw in some balls of play dough to use as play meatballs. Make sure they don’t eat it unless you’re cool with that as a snack. Rainbow spaghetti is really a one-time thing so it’s a now or never kind of opportunity to really surround the kids in a whimsical snack.
My favorite moment was when Pearl mimicked her friend by trying out the spaghetti on her head like, Am I doing this right? She just cracks me up.
Making the spaghetti is a tad time consuming but very easy. What I like to do is heat up a huge pot of water and make one pound at a time. While that’s cooking I prepare a Hefty brand gallon-sized bag with about 1.5 cups of water, then drop in 6-10 drops of the preferred color dye in the water. When the pasta is ready I strain it then use tongs to drop it into the hefty bag. I know some people use oil to spread the colors but I prefer to use colored water because I find the oil acts as a barrier, and the spaghetti seems to absorb the color better without it.
Once all the spaghetti is in the bag I swish it around to make sure enough water is in their to spread the color so it’s one color. You might need some more water in to make it spread. It’s not an exact science, but you can eyeball it. If I really want the coloring to make a strong statement I let it sit for about thirty minutes before straining it and leaving it out to dry a bit. McCormick neon food coloring is my absolute favorite. The blue is SO gorgeous. Once that batch is done, repeat! It’s easiest just to do it all in one go and keep the pots going.
I can’t wait for the summer and the potential of filling up an inflatable pool with noodles and watching the kids wade in it. Nanny goals, huh?