One of my favourite sensory bins lately has been the pasta sensory bin. It has been extremely versatile for activities. It’s easy to pick up off the floor (the dog thinks it’s incredibly tasty). The pasta also made for terrific Christmas gifts that we gave to our friends too in paint cups. It’s relatively easy to dye to make fun colours too.
To dye pasta, you just need pasta, large ziplock bags, food dye and a little bit of rubbing alcohol. Throw pasta in bags, add about 15-20 drops of the food dye colour you want, and 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol. Zip the bag and let it soak. I laid mine flat on my stove and flipped them every hour or so. After overnight, take them out of the bags and let them dry. I used our cookie sheets lined with parchment paper for that step.
Activities To Do With Your Pasta Sensory Bin
Sorting Pasta (Colour)
After drying, I mixed up all the pastas and then let Mr J sort them out by colour into the sensory bin. We used recycled containers from around the house like egg cartons, foam containers and yogurt cups.
With pipe cleaners, we practiced making bracelets and stringing pasta beads along. This was a popular activity, although it took some practice to be able to do. Crimping a “needle” into the pipe cleaner (about 0.5″) seemed to help the control of the getting the pasta bead on to it. To make it a more natural activity, you could also add in wooden beans, or recycled bottle lids with holes drilled in them.
We have been working on our pouring skills with tea parties and in the bath tub lately. This pasta pouring from the measuring cup into the sensory bin is great fun and the clean up is nil! After showing Mr J a few times, he caught on and this is usually what he likes to do in the bin. He also loves pouring the pasta into other objects – like his ride on truck, yogurt cups and on the floor (it makes a great noise).
Miss M’s favourite sensory bin to do is a simple fill and dump. She especially likes to use shovels or spoons to get into the action with. She almost always giggles when we play together and we bury one of the objects into the bin. She’s content to dump-dump-dump all the pasta on top of it and let it sit. I love that pasta makes such wonderful clicky-clacky noises as they get filled and dumped. I think it really adds to the sensory experience.
Mr J being obsessed with cars (and the yummy truck) loves when they do things. He brought his dump truck over to the bin one day and started to fill the back with pasta, and then the truck would dump them somewhere on the table and he would start again. It was a really unique take on the bin, that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s definitively not one I would have thought of too!
What’s in your sensory bin this week?
Want more educational activities to try at home with your toddler? Check out our Pinterest full of great ideas.
a passionate recreation coordinator by day, crazy farm mama of two by night. i live outdoors: growing my own food, camping and hiking with my border collie with two active kids in tow. when I’m not writing, I’m experimenting with recipes, and crafts – or anything else that might keep the monkeys entertained.