Sensory Play · Small Manipulatives

Noodle Fun

I am in one of those stages where I cannot keep up with the dishes and the laundry or the vacuuming or the clutter. Basically my family is alive, happy and fed. I would be pleased as punch if I wasn’t constantly searching for a clean spoon or pajamas! So this morning I needed a good kid pleasing activity for a 3 year old and a babe.

Here is a super simple and fun activity to do with your sweeties. You do have to have 15 minutes to prep but once the prep is done the activity is effortless.

Noodle fun


  • Dry noodles (I used Rotini this time but spaghetti noodles are fun too!)
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  • Food dye


  • SIMPLE VERSION: Dump noodles into a pot of hot water and add some food dye. Boil noodles and then drain and run under cool water.
  • LESS SIMPLE VERSION: I got 3 pots of hot water and put a 4th of the box in each pot. I added green, purple and blue food dye to the pots. I left a fourth of the box uncooked for some good contrast.
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  • The more dye you use the more colorful they will be. I used about 10 drops of purple and 6 drops of green and blue.

Set Up

  • Once you have ran cool water over your beautiful noodles add them to a container, we used a casserole pan. (you can also do this activity in your sensory table)
  • Also pull out utensils and containers for sorting and transferring.

Activity Time


I could hardly lay the pan down before little miss 3 was into the noodles.

Little miss baby was very intrigued by these colorful items on her tray. Of course she tasted them. After eating a small bite of one she decided they were more for squeezing.


After a few minutes of discovery time I got out some sorting bowls and utensils, FOR EACH GIRL. I didn’t tell either girl what to do…cause really they probably wouldn’t listen any way.


I love this girl, she kept rubbing her arms in the noodles! HA!

It didn’t take long before my daughter was sorting the noodles and asking me what I wanted for dinner cause she was cooking up something good.


The baby girl LOVES holding a fork and her own little bowl. She would take each piece out of the bowl and then I would refill it. Kept her happy for over 10 minutes.

I forgot to snap a picture but after 15 minutes I added the dry noodles in an extra bowl. Both girls were very interested in them. Genevieve, 3, made a hide and seek game fore me. She would hide 5 dry noodles in a bowl of soft ones and I would have to find them. Then I would hide the dry noodles for her. She loved this game. I cleaned the front room and the kitchen while the littles were happily occupied! WIN WIN!

Extension: Don’t forget to start basic and add something new before they decide they are bored. Add bowls, utensils, cupcake tin, butter knife, toothpicks…really you can’t go wrong…unless you marinara.

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