5 Ways to Use Dried Pasta

I like dried pasta, not as much as cooked pasta with arrabbiata and fresh veggies, but you can’t exactly do lessons and crafts with cooked pasta. Did you know it is not necessary to add oil to cooking pasta because high quality pasta should not stick together? It is also erroneous to throw a noodle on the wall to test whether it is cooked. There goes all the fun in cooking it! Try these ideas instead.

1. Life Cycle – Explore the butterfly life cycle. You will need a bead-like type of pasta to represent the egg, ziti for the larva or caterpillar, shells for the pupa or chrysalis, and farfalle for the adult butterfly. Use a paper plate divided into fourths. Label each stage in the life cycle and attach the appropriate pasta. Follow up the activity with a visit to a butterfly garden, found in many botanical gardens, where you can search for the different stages. Bring your chart for reference.

2. Sorting – Gather a variety of pasta shapes and mix them together in one bag or plastic container. Have your little learner(s) scoop out a handful and spread them on a cookie sheet. The child can then sort the pasta by shape and count them. You can create index cards with numerals to match to the sorted piles.

3. Patterns – Experiment with repeated designs of different shape, size, or color. You can color your own pasta or use vegetable pasta like spinach and tomato. Keep it simple with basic repeating patterns or make it challenging with growing patterns. Check out my repetition post for patterns in nature.

4. Graphs – Use pasta to create a pictograph. First, survey family and friends on their favorite variety of pasta. Then, create a pictograph revealing the results. What else can you graph?

5. Sound – Make maracas or shakers using paper plates. Decorate two small paper plates first. Then add a single type of pasta to a small paper plate, and place a second paper plate on top. Staple or tape around the sides. Create another shaker using a different type of pasta. Compare the sounds.


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