Food Colouring Fun | More Sensory Play Ideas

Sensory Play is becoming a regular activity in our household...and we are loving it! I've built up my resources and figured out a great way to manage the mess. I'm really enjoying watching the cogs turning in my little toddler's mind as she plays, and then asks for "more" by signing (incase you're wondering, we've also taught her "eat", "all gone" and "toilet" in baby sign language).

I've posted back in February about making rainbow rice and rainbow spaghetti for sensory play, and this week I tried coloured macaroni. The difference between this and the rainbow spaghetti is that it's dry rather than wet and slippery. Such a feast for the senses - sight, sound and touch!!

I searched around a bit and tried three different methods -
  • simply diluting some food colouring in water
  • food colouring with vinegar
  • and food colouring with alcohol hand wash
I simply put the liquid in a container with some macaroni, shook it around a bit and left it out to dry on paper towel. I must say the pasta that I mixed with water became a bit sticky, and the vinegar had quite a strong smell (although many bloggers say that if you leave it out in the sun for a bit the smell will almost disappear). So the best result was actually the hand wash!

I had two things in mind for the rainbow pasta - a sensory bin (above) and a new discovery bottle (below).  Click this link for my other discovery bottle ideas. I was all enthused to create some new and interesting discovery bottles for my little miss, as they loose their appeal after a while.

From L-R Gems & Glitter | Coloured Pasta | Pom Poms & Rice | Paperclips & Foil | Oil & Food Colouring.

It's also lovely to combine plain pasta with other sensory materials such as lentils, beans and oats.

From L-R Macaroni | Oats | Red Lentils | Red Kidney Beans | Penne Pasta

So - my secrets to keeping the mess to a minimum, is to set up for sensory play outside. However it's winter here in little old Adelaide at the moment so my alternative is on the kitchen floor inside a little sand pit/ball pit/paddle pool/clam shell whatever you like to call them. It certainly contains the mess and makes pack up quick and easy. I'm currently modelling and teaching my toddler to use a dustpan and broom to pick up any stray sensory materials that might escape the pool (one of the key Montessori approaches to early learning is 'practical life' - ie washing dishes, cleaning up etc).

And there you have it - some simple sensory play ideas with items you may already have in your pantry :)

Thanks for reading

Love to Learn Linky Featured


  1. Hi Lauren, thanks for sharing, I love how bright and cheery the pasta looks! I am going to feature your post tomorrow on the Love to Learn Linky party. I hope you come and link up again :)

  2. Hi Katie! Thanks so much for featuring one of my posts. It's lovely feedback. Will definitely keep participating in the love to learn link up.

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