Rainbow Alphabet Spaghetti!

How to make some rainbow coloured spaghetti for glorious sensory play and playful literacy learning too!Rainbow alphabet spaghetti sensory play
This activity was plenty of slimy, gloopy, colourful, CLEAN fun and the girls loved it!
Remember when we made theBug Slime Spaghetti? Everyone was horrified by the disgustingness of that, which really made me laugh! We had a go at making some more spaghetti for sensory play, but this time used bright rainbow colours and some magnetic letters, which looks so much more pretty!

I cooked a small pot of spaghetti and drained it and tossed it in a couple of teaspoons of oil. I divided it into 5 bowls and added a some liquid food colouring to each one, and stirred it through.

Then the girls helped me tip it into one of our TubTrugs in the garden and Cakie fetched all of the magnetic letters from the fridge and put them in too.

They had a great time digging through with forks, picking out letters and looking for “treasures.”

Then of course it was all about investigating with the hands, and later the feet too! C just loved to hold it up high, let it squish and slide between her fingers, then drop it all again. 

C. asked to move it to the grass and they both got stuck in even more earnestly. Pop loved exploring how it felt and looked in her hands. The extra bonus with this is that it is edible! Great for babies and young children who insist on tasting everything still.

Extend the Learning:

  • You could get your child to throw the spaghetti onto some large sheets of paper and make spaghetti prints!
  • Add some strawberry or peppermint flavouring to increase the sensory play element.
  • Change the letters for numbers and ask your child to find them and put them in order from 1-10.
  • Ask them to find letters from their name or to spell out small, 3 letter words.
  • Hide bugs/ animals and play hide and seek for animals on a list

Learning Links:

  • Sensory: exploring materials using all of the senses
  • Literacy: descriptive vocabulary development eg slimy/ slippery/ squishy, identifying letters, finding initial letters from own name
  • Maths: discussing quantities and capacity, looking for numbers (if replacing the letters), counting
  • PHSE: playing independently, discovering new feelings and sensations, expressing likes and dislikes
  • Motor Skills: developing small muscles through gripping, squishing, mixing, picking out individual spaghetti strands etc
  • Creative:  Exploring colours and colour mixing, creating games and story-lines, sustained role-play
Cakie: 34 Months
Pop: 15 Months


  1. says

    I Love this!! Too bad my mother has a thing about not letting children play with food – whether it is intended to be eaten or not!
    Your kids look like they had an absolute ball!!!

  2. says

    This is an AMAZING idea! I will be adding you guys to my list along with Play at Home Mom for fantastic, fun adventures!

  3. says

    I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile, now, but my spaghetti boxes are just sitting in my classroom shelf. Thanks for the reminder! Looks like they had a lovely time! Love your blog!

  4. says

    We do something very similiar to this but we dip the spagetti into glue and gue it to a foam tray that your meat or fruit comes on from the grocery store. Then if you like sparkely you can add glitter. Leave it to dry, depending on how much glue is on the tray it could take a few days or weeks if your 2 year old just glops on the glue like mine does. Once dry if there’s not too much glue you can peel off the foam tray and hang your beautiful spagetti art.

  5. says

    After reading this this morning I made rainbow rice noodles (we were out of spaghetti) with my daughter this afternoon. She loved it! I think we’ll do it again next week when some of her little friends come around to play.

  6. Sarah, the Hoppin' Frogs class says

    I am very excited about doing this with my 18-24 month old toddlers!!! One question.. I have a parent that is very particular about child not getting messy.. does the food coloring stain hands and or clothes??

  7. Anonymous says

    Love this great idea especially as im training to become an early years professional and new ideas are really helpful to carry out in new nursery settings!

  8. Anonymous says

    I am just trying this now but when I touch it the colour really comes off in my hand anad I think it will quickly be one brown colour once I put it in the tray! Does it try after a while or does the colour come off very easily?