Autumn Pasta: A Sensory and Fine Motor Activity

When my best friend asked me to come up with some fall-themed activities for her daughter’s birthday party, dyeing pasta for beading was the first thing that came to mind. It’s cheap and easy and generally a safe crowd-pleaser. Then when I actually got around to coloring the pasta, the colors were so beautiful and inviting that I couldn’t resist trying it out as a sensory bin- and it was great!

To dye the pasta you’ll need;

-Two pounds of pasta with holes (I used ziti and ditalini)

-Food coloring

-White vinegar (if you hate the smell you can use rubbing alcohol, which has the same effect, but I wanted it to be taste-safe)

-Gallon size ziplock bags

-Four cookie sheets and saran wrap, if desired, to protect them ingredients for dyeing pasta as a sensory activity

Start by dividing the pasta evenly into four bags, then add the food coloring, about 20 drops each; for orange, make sure you only do ONE drop of red and the rest yellow. For the brown, do a few drops of green and the rest red. Then pour in about a teaspoon of vinegar per bag.

This fall sensory bin and fine motor activity is fun for toddlers and preschoolers!

Seal the bags and shake them up! This fall sensory bin and fine motor activity is fun for toddlers and preschoolers!

Spread the pasta out on cookie sheets and let dry for a few hours. This fall sensory bin and fine motor activity is fun for toddlers and preschoolers!

Once your pasta is dry you can spread it out in your sensory bin and admire how inviting it looks!

This fall sensory bin and fine motor activity is fun for toddlers and preschoolers!

To bring in the fine motor element and extend play, I added some cups that I had dyed to match the pasta. I used a mixture of food coloring and white glue to paint the inside of the cups, then let them dry overnight (coloring with sharpies would work too!). Then I added pipe cleaners in the same colors as an invitation to do some beading.

This fall sensory bin and fine motor activity is fun for toddlers and preschoolers!

Now you’re ready to play! There are so many ways to play in this bin. Of course, stringing pasta on the pipe cleaners is really fun;

The cups are great for scooping and pouring and sorting too!

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Since we were playing with this in my EASY DIY 2-in-1 Light Table and Sensory Bin, we were able to turn on the light and add a new element to the play;

This fall sensory play bin and fine motor activity is even more fun as a light table activity.This fall sensory play bin and fine motor activity is even more fun as a light table activity.This fall sensory play bin and fine motor activity is even more fun as a light table activity.

As it turns out, the cups were pretty streaky, but that didn’t stop them from looking AWESOME with the light shining up!

Will you be making one of these? What would you change or add to make this even more fun? Leave a comment and let me know!

If you’re looking for more fun fall activity, check out this Pumpkin Playhouse puppet theater, this Apple Orchard Math Play CornerJack-o-lantern Bean Bag Toss! or our Pumpkin Spice Play-Dough Cupcakes! Are you ready for fire safety week? Make sure you have good books to read- ones that are good quality and have accurate information about firefighters! Check out: The Ultimate Guide to Children’s Books about Firefighters!

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