“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” Sensory Play

Big Brother’s favorite book at the moment is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  We read it at least twice a day. If you’ve ever read this book, you know how long it is…it is quite the time investment!

I think the reason he loves this book so much is because it combines make-believe with one of his favorite interests these days…the weather!

I’ve been racking my brain on a way to extend his love for this book into something more tangible and the idea for a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs sensory tub came to me. After all, I have a plethora of spaghetti noodles in my pantry!

We just used items we already had on hand for the rest…pretend food, cars, and blocks from our train set to make the city. If you don’t have any blocks, you could also print out this Paper City from Made by Joel.

I put a piece of duct tape down the middle of our large, shallow plastic tub. I then used a highlighter to color some mailing labels yellow, cut them, and added them to the “road.”



Next came the buildings…Welcome to the tiny town of Chewandswallow!



 And the weather began…first with frequent showers of spaghetti…



Is there such a thing as a spaghetti flood? Apparently there is in the town of Chewandswallow!

And then the rest of the food started coming down as well. Corn, eggs, hot dogs, carrots, galore! The only thing Big Brother was sorely disappointed with was the fact that there was no “wonderful Jell-O setting in the West.” I think that’s his favorite part of the book, except perhaps for the “tomato tornado”. :)

 Gettin’ slimy in the noodles…



Random alert:  Have you ever seen the movie Patch Adams? Do you remember the sweet little old lady who wanted to swim in a pool of spaghetti? I always thought that would be so much fun…until today. The after effects of spaghetti are not pleasant. Hard, sticky hands…blech.

I’m not gonna lie…this was messy (but oh-so-fun). I might have spent more time cleaning up after this sensory tub than the boys actually spent playing with it. But that’s okay…all the food and cars cleaned up nicely after a nice, soapy bath in the sink.


And our sweet dog was more than happy to clean up the “left overs” on our deck…wasn’t that nice of her???

What’s your child’s favorite book at the moment? Stop by and see what our Facebook friends shared as well.


  1. Great idea. I love mixing books with play. My girls haven’t read that particular book (though we did the movie once last summer, and to be honest, at the time, the girls weren’t interested), but we like to mix play and books in other ways. Usually if the charactors make or bake something, after we read the book, we do as well. They love it. Thanks for the wonderful idea, I may borrow that book from the library and then borrow your idea. :)

  2. Oh my gosh it looks like they had SO much fun! Way to let them play without being paranoid about a mess.

    Your dog looks sweet too. :) Ours is a little picky with scraps and can not be counted on to help clean up (spoiled girl she is).

  3. Maybe this is a silly question, but did you do anything to the spaghetti when you were cooking it to make it less sticky? My gut says to add a smidge of oil, but then we’ve got oily hands and clothes.

  4. We are not allowed to use food in are experiences. There are so many children starving children in the world they see this as waste!!

  5. Why use real food in sensory bins? What a waste! So many children all over the world (including America!) are hungry every day and you waste a full bin of spaghetti for your little ones to trash. Sorry, but this one is an absolute no go!

  6. Will this work with string instead of real spaghetti? It may not be as entertaining, but I will try it to see if it see works.

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