Beat the Summer Blues! (part 2)

It's the middle of summer break and you are probably running out of ideas to keep your little ones busy and out of trouble, so here's another fun, inexpensive craft that everyone will enjoy!

You will need: uncooked pasta (macaroni, shells, twirls, any small pasta will work), food coloring (drops, not paste), rubbing alcohol, coffee filters, zip-type bags, mixing bowl, waxed paper, newspaper, and a covered work surface.

Step 1: Measure your pasta and put into zip-type bag. I had the kids scoop the pasta from an open bowl so that it was easier for them to manage.

Step 2: Add 5 drops of food coloring to the dry pasta. You could do less or more - we chose 5 since it's Chloe's favorite number right now.

Step 3: Add 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol to the pasta and food coloring. Seal the bag (don't forget this part!!) and then shake it to mix the contents.

Step 4: Set a kitchen timer for 15 minutes (shout out to The Pampered Chef for making the most awesome kitchen timers ever. We have them all over the house. Wonderful for "time out" since they count up and down.).

Step 5: Hang out for a while. Read a book (our current selection for Bradley includes "The Potty Train" (seriously, the tag line is "Chugga Chugga POOOOO POOOOO!" You have to read it) and "It Hurts When I Poop." We have a theme. Chloe is into chapter books and the awful Junie B. Jones. I'm trying to get her into Frog and Toad, though.

Step 6: Once the pasta has set for 15 minutes, drain the bags into a coffee filter in a bowl. You could use more than one bowl, but we just washed this one out in between colors.

Step 7: Drain the alcohol out of the filter (you will get your fingers dirty, but you can rinse them when you rinse the bowl).

Step 7: Place filter full of wet, colored pasta on the prepared surface - newspaper covered with a sheet of waxed paper. Try to smooth the pasta out so that the individual pasta pieces aren't touching too much as they dry.

Let the pasta dry over night. Then you can use it in any number of projects. If you use larger pasta you can string it onto yarn to make necklaces, but we used ours to make pictures.

Draw a line image with plain ol' white glue and then put the pasta on top. This is great fine motor work!

Bradley LOVED doing it. He could do the pasta all by himself, though I helped with the glue part.

Chloe could do everything all by herself.

A masterpiece! (She made it for her Uncle Matt.)


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