Preschoolers and Toddlers Learning Together: Pasta Snakes

Guest Post by Katey of Having Fun at Home 


Having both a preschooler and a toddler at home at the same time can be a bit tricky. Projects that work well for preschoolers often don’t work well for toddlers-  and the other way around!


So when I thought of a project that would be engaging and educational for both my four-year-old and my two-year-old I knew we had to try it.


Educational Objectives for Toddler:

Fine motor skills

Color Recognition


Educational Objectives for Preschooler:

Following written instructions

Pattern Recognition

Fine Motor Skills



Rubbing Alcohol

Food Dye (found out the hard way that it must be liquid dye and not gel; the gel doesn’t dissolve in alcohol)

Pasta (hollow and tubular- penne, etc.)

String or Yarn



Scotch Tape


1. Fill small containers with rubbing alcohol and mix a different color of food dye in each vat. Submerge noodles in vats and leave for about a minute.

2. Take out pasta and dry on paper towels for about an hour.

3. Tie a crayon to one end of a piece of string or yarn (to keep the pasta from slipping off). Wrap the other end of the string in scotch tape (to make it stiff for threading the pasta)



For Your Toddler:

Teach them to thread pasta pieces on to the snake. When they have that down, let them practice color recognition by following instructions about which color to add to their snake next.


For Your Preschooler:

Write down several color patterns on paper. At the end of each written pattern, ask your preschooler to predict what color comes next. Then have them make a pasta snake modeled after each written pattern.

I found that both the toddler and the preschooler could work happily on their respective projects at the same time- without over-extention for mom. Horray!

Katey writes about simple and inexpensive ideas for families to enjoy together at her blog Having Fun at Home





  1. Much easier to color your pasta by using zip lock bags. Less achohol and gel coloring makes the colors brighter. Dry on wax paper (all over the kitchen) LOL.

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