Spaghetti is fun! Pokey, breakable, and wavy when it's dry; Squishy, slimy, and wiggly when it's cooked. What kid wouldn't love to play with spaghetti?
For the activities using cooked spaghetti, add a little bit of oil to the water so the noodles don't stick together. Cook the strands until they can be formed into shapes easily, but are not soft and squishy. Cool the noodles before allowing your child to play with them.
Also, you may wish to discuss the concept of playing with your food and make sure your child understands not to play with his dinner – and not to eat a strand of spaghetti that's been dipped in paint.
Help your child write his or her name on a piece of construction paper. Have your preschooler use pre-cooked and cooled spaghetti to form the letters, using the written letters as a guide. The spaghetti should be slightly damp so it sticks to the paper. This activity is harder than it looks and my almost-four year old – who can write her name herself – needed a lot of help.
Spaghetti Activity for Kids #2: Worm Walk or Spaghetti Painting
This spaghetti activity also uses cooked spaghetti. You will also need a piece of white construction paper and some tempera paint or finger paints. The spaghetti is used as a tool to paint with, instead of a paint brush. The cooked spaghetti acts as a worm, dragging paint (or “worm tracks”) down a paper sidewalk. At least, we did this for a W is for Worm home preschool activity, so that's what I told Maggie.
First, make a sidewalk using the piece of white construction paper. Cut the paper in half lengthwise and tape it together in one long strip. Then, using a pencil, add lines to divide the sidewalk into squares.
Put a dollop of paint in different colors on a paper plate or piece of cardboard. Use one strand of cooked spaghetti for each color. Drag the spaghetti through the paint, then across the sidewalk.
When we did this activity, I also served Dirt made with homemade chocolate pudding as a snack.
Spaghetti Activity for Kids #3: Bead Lacing
Bead lacing is a popular preschool activity for helping kids practice their fine motor skills. I bought these wooden beads hoping to do a lacing activity, only to discover that my plastic needle was too large. Instead, we tried stringing the beads onto a piece of dry spaghetti and it worked great!
Just set your preschooler up with a tray of beads and a few pieces of uncooked spaghetti. Maggie ran back to this activity after lunch and really enjoyed doing it.
Angel hair or another fine pasta might not be strong enough, but we had a good, thick spaghetti that held up to an entire string of wooden beads.