Sensory bins are one of my favorite playful learning activities for kids! Sensory bins are quick and easy to put together and will keep your kids occupied for hours. There are endless possibilities when it comes to sensory bin fillers, but dry pasta is one of the best in my opinion. Since pasta is small and comes in so many different shapes and textures it is perfect for little hands and a wonderful sensory experience. You are going to be shocked when you learn How To Dye Pasta For Sensory Play and Crafts and see how simple and easy it can be!

DIY Dyed Rainbow Pasta

Recommended Grade Level:

DIY Dyed Rainbow Pasta Supplies:

  • Rubbing Alcohol or Vinegar
  • Gallon Zip Bags
  • Food Coloring
  • Aluminum Foil or Parchment Paper
  • Pasta: Shell, Rotini, Farfalle, any small variety
  • Baking Sheet

One common misconception about sensory bins is that they are expensive to make. Using DIY dyed pasta for your sensory bin filler is an inexpensive way to fill your bin up!

Once you have learned how to dye dry pasta, you can also color your own for crafts!

Pasta Activities For Preschoolers:

  • Colorful pasta makes a great math manipulative! Pasta can be used for counting and showing addition and subtraction problems.
  • String pasta onto ribbon or yarn to create fun pasta jewelry. This is a fantastic fine motor skill activity!
  • Make fun pasta art projects! Glue pasta onto paper and create a colorful pattern or picture.

How To Create Dyed Color Pasta For Crafts and Sensory Bins:

The supplies for How to Dye Pasta for Sensory Play.

Instructions For How To Dye Pasta For Crafts And Sensory Bins:

Pour 2-3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol or vinegar into a gallon size zip top bag.

Add about 10 drops of food coloring into the bag. Gently swirl the bag to mix the food coloring in with the vinegar or rubbing alcohol.

The rubbing alcohol, vinegar and food coloring mixture for dyeing pasta.

Seal the bag, and then gently toss and shake the bag until the pasta is evenly covered in color.

If necessary, open the bag, add a few more drops of food coloring, close, and continue shaking until all the pasta is colored.

Bags of DIY dyed pasta for sensory play and crafts.

Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Dump the bag of pasta onto the lined baking sheet to dry. Spread out the pasta so it is in a single layer.

Allow it to dry for a few hours, stirring it at least once to ensure all sides of the pasta are able to dry.

Dyed pasta for sensory play rainbow pasta

Repeat the process for as many different colors of pasta as you would like to create.

Keep dried pasta stored in a sealed container or plastic baggie until you are ready to add it to a sensory bin or grab it for a fun craft!

Other Sensory Bin Ideas For Preschoolers:

  • Dye pasta colors that coordinate with holiday seasons for a fun seasonal sensory bin.
  • Sensory bin play doesn’t have to be complicated! Just add a filler, some measuring cups, funnels, or small toys to play with! Dinosaurs and animal figures are popular choices of many children who love sensory bin play and many can be found at the dollar store.
  • Pom poms, water beads, and beans all make easy fillers for sensory bins.
  • Put your colorful pasta into a bowl, shallow pan, or buy a fun sensory table that can be filled over and over again!

Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!

how to dye your own pasta for sensory play
author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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