A Favorite Craft for Toddlers

My daughters are 3 and 1.5 years old, and they love any activity that is creative. I recently discovered a favorite craft for toddlers—colored pasta “bead” necklaces—that they just love. This craft is simple to make at home and is low cost, too.

Supplies Needed

-bottle of rubbing alcohol
-a variety of pasta in different shapes such as penne, ditalani, and wheels
-food coloring (I have found gel to work best)

How to Make Colored Pasta Beads

-Split the rubbing alcohol equally between four sandwich baggies (to contain the odor). Squirt in a generous amount of food coloring, one color per bag. If you are using gel, seal and shake the bag to get the food coloring to disintegrate in the rubbing alcohol.

-Pour about ½ cup of pasta in each bag, and shake to coat. (I had to double bag to avoid leaks.)

-Once all the pasta is coated, let sit for about 8 hours, turning the bag every few hours.

-Snip a small hole in the corner of the bag and drain the alcohol. Lay the beads in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet to dry over night. (Warning—this will be very stinky! Perhaps let it dry in your garage as the rubbing alcohol fumes can cause unwanted side effects such as headaches and dizziness.)

-Snip a large piece of yarn and wrap one end with tape so it is easier for little hands to “thread” the pasta on the yarn.

Possible Activities

These colored beads can be used for a variety of activities. Kids can use them to make pasta jewelry, or they can practice sorting by color or shape.  However you use this craft, it is sure to be a favorite with your children, and if you use a variety of pasta shapes, it is appropriate for a very young toddler to an older preschooler.  Do you recommend a craft for toddlers?

*Melissa, a mom to three little ones (ages 7, 3 and 1) blogs at Mom's Plans where she writes about living a fulfilling life on less and focuses on cutting expenses, budgeting, paying down debt, saving money and once a month cooking. Please welcome her posts into the lineup here at Lille Punkin'!