'Spooky' Sensory Play Idea: Scary Eyeball Spaghetti Noodles

sensory toddler Halloween spaghetti dye noodles

I love sensory activities that are super easy to set up. With Halloween on the horizon, I knew I wanted to put something together for my toddler that wasn't too spooky, but still had the Halloween spirit. I always save our expired spaghetti noodles because dyed spaghetti is such a fun sensory material; between that and the pack of ping pong balls I'd bought at our local Dollar Tree, I knew just what to make. The whole activity took just a few minutes to get ready and my toddler had an absolute blast.


halloween toddler sensory easy
What you'll need for this activity:
Spaghetti or linguine noodles (wheat, corn, rice, or gluten-free); paper towel; food coloring or liquid watercolors; ping pong balls; permanent marker; Ziploc bag or tupperware.

What to do:

  1. Cook your noodles according to the directions on the package.
  2. Rinse the cooked noodles in cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel. 
  3. Place the noodles in a Ziploc bag or tupperware container and add liquid watercolors a teaspoon at a time (or 6-8 drops of food coloring mixed into a teaspoon of water), shaking between each addition, until noodles are completely dyed.
  4. Set the noodles on a paper towel for a minute or two to absorb any excess dye.
  5. If the noodles are still hot to the touch, place them in a refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. An adult should thoroughly check that the temperature of the noodles is appropriate before giving them to a child for play. (Dyed spaghetti can be kept in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours.)
  6. Add pupils to ping pong balls with a permanent marker.
  7. Add cooled colored noodles to a dish and place the ping pong eyeballs throughout.  

Note: If you use food coloring, your child may have some slight hand-staining after play. Noodles will eventually dry out (if left out for hours) or mold after a few days!


Images via Asia Citro

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