How to Make Vibrant Noodles for Sensory Play

I hope my excitement for this project comes through in my words because… I am SO excited to share this with all of you! I consider myself very well practiced in colouring sensory materials, after all it is a part of my job on a daily basis. One thing I (and I’m sure others as well) struggle with is dying pasta. You usually end up with a mushy, starchy mess with off colours due to the yellow colour of the pasta. To make the pasta not super wet you can use rubbing alcohol, which dries quick, but then your pasta is left stinking like rubbing alcohol.

So what’s a mom/educator/daycare lady to do?

It’s so simple, I’m actually embarrassed I didn’t think of it sooner! The secret to vibrant, rainbow pasta is…..DITCH THE PASTA! Wait….what? Yep, ditch the pasta. We’re gonna switch up our noodles and you will be amazed at the difference.

Step one: Head to your local supermarket and walk straight past the pasta aisle and head to the international foods. Grab yourself a few packs of vermicelli noodles. These are rice based noodles and come in a nice, white colour. I used 2 packs for our bin.

Vermicelli noodles are a common supermarket item!

Now, I’m going to tell you how *I* did this. I did some experimenting first and found that this was the easiest and best way.

High tech testing always involves post-its right!?

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 packs of vermicelli noodles
  • water
  • 6 Ziplock bags
  • Liquid watercolours in rainbow colours (or food colour if you have one that mouths play items)
  • Pour about 2 cups of (lukewarm) water in your ziplock bag and pour in as much colour as you’d like. For pastel colours, use less. For vibrant colours, use more. We used about 1/4 cup of liquid watercolours.
  • Divide up your vermicelli noodles and place some in each bag. Squeeze the air out of the bag and squish the colour around to make sure all the noodles are coated.
  • Let sit in the coloured water for about an hour, shaking and turning the bag every 15 minutes.
I placed all the bags into a plastic bin in case of leaks
  • Once your noodles have soaked up a bunch of coloured water and are feeling soft enough to play with, one bag at a time, pour into a colander (with small holes) and rinse off your noodles until the water runs mostly clear.
Give the noodles a rinse!
  • Place the noodles in the sensory bin and let the little ones have at it!

As they play and squeeze the noodles a bit of colour is going to come out. This photo was taken after a little had played in the noodles for about 15 minutes… no colour on his hands!

Rinse the noodles prior to putting them in the bin to ensure clean hands!

Give these noodles a chance and you’ll get these bright, vibrant colours in your sensory bin too!

We LOVE social media! If you give this a try, please tag us #inspiredtots or @inspiredtots and you may just win a prize pack!

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