Painting with spaghetti is a pretty AWESOME kid activity for many reasons:
It works those oh-so-important fine motor skills
You can set it up to teach mixing primary colors to make secondary colors
Extension activity for the Vermicomposting project you've been doing with the kids. Get it?
Encourages kids to paint with non-traditional tools
It's a good way to recycle leftover spaghetti noodles when you've made too much for dinner
Set-up and clean-up is a snap with no paint-filled brushes to wash when finished
Pollock was pretty crazy and so is painting like Pollock..crazy fun that is!
And the best reason...it's messy, goofy fun!
Step 1: Gather Necessary Materials
To paint with spaghetti you'll need a few things:
Newspaper to protect the workspace. Trust me, it's messy!
Tempera Paint (I like to use this type of paint because it washes up and out so easily)
A couple of shallow dishes to pour the paint into.
(Tin pie plates work well for this and are a good excuse to go to Marie Callender's for a $5
Cooked spaghetti noodles
(I like to put aside a few handfuls for later use when we're having spaghetti for dinner. I prefer
thick noodles because they are easy for little hands to grip. However, any type will work. In
fact, thinner noodles would really give young fingers a dexterity workout)
A piece of art paper...the bigger the better.
(I'd pull out a few pieces because this activity is so fun that the kid is bound to want more)
One eager kid clothed in a paint-safe outfit
*Side note: String, yarn, twine, ribbon or really any kind of thick thread works well for this project and can be used instead of spaghetti noodles and would be fun to experiment with. You can also have kids clip a clothes pin to it for a less messy method... but who really wants that?
Step 2: Open Up the Daily Press
After you've taken care of gathering the necessary materials it's time to set up the fun!
First, you'll need to cover the workspace with newspaper.
Step 3: Pour Some Out
Next, carefully pour out a few different colors of tempera paint into shallow containers.
We've been talking a lot about primary and secondary colors in our household lately. As you probably guessed...my daughter decided today we'd make green!
Step 4: Plop Some In
Plop a handful of clean, al dente spaghetti noodles into the paint and mix around, making sure to saturate the noodles with oodles of paint.
Step 5: Use Yer Noodle
Pull a paint covered noodle out of the paint and onto the clean art paper. Twirl, pull, swirl, drag, press the noodle all around the paper and see what happens!
Step 6: Art Appreciation
When finished, step back and admire the Pollock-ish masterpiece.
When dry the painting can be frame or recycled into some awesome looking "Thank you" note cards by cutting it up into rectangles!
Step 7: Sloppy Copy
When the kid has finished her first by-the-book painting she's going to want to keep going. Now's the time you hand over a clean piece of art paper and set her loose. You might not want to watch what happens next so take a deep breath, turn around, walk 40 paces to the coffee pot, fill up your favorite Nagel mug with a steaming cup o'joe and don't look until you hear "I'm ready to wash my hands mommy."
Trust me...Don't look...not even a peep...You don't want to know.
Step 8: Worth It in the End
When you're finally forced to look up and face the messy, messy music there is one huge bright side which comes from the words, "Look mommy I made green!" gleefully shouted by one happy, paint-covered toddler.