When your child smells the spaghetti simmering on the stove, she'll naturally think it’s dinner time. But surprise her instead with this fun craft that encourages imagination and creativity by using spaghetti to make art. All you need are some spaghetti noodles and a few craft supplies, and you and your child are in for a truly different art experience. Who knew that spaghetti could teach your child about shapes, lines and patterns? Whether you whip up some noodles just for this project, or use the leftovers your family didn't quite get to, this is an inexpensive craft that's pure fun.
Boil a pot of water with enough liquid to cook a good amount of spaghetti (about half of a 1 lb box is a good amount).
Drain and rinse the spaghetti and place on some paper towels to dry. Pat the noodles down with the paper towels to make sure they they are completely dry.
Lay out some paper – you can use different colors – on a table for your child to start creating her masterpiece.
Encourage her to use the glue to draw out her designs on the paper. Place the spaghetti on top of the glue so it stays in place (even though the spaghetti will be quite sticky on its own).
If she needs a little inspiration, encourage her to create a shape. Ask her to make a large square, for instance, and then a small square inside of it, or have her make a spiral or a squiggle. Talk to her about straight lines versus curvy lines. Discuss why a curvy line may be the same length as a straight line, even though it may look shorter.
Another fun idea is to have your child use markers to create pictures of family members. Have her draw in her family members' faces and use the spaghetti for the hair. Or, she can try the reverse: use the spaghetti to create the face and draw the body.
The most important thing is to let your child have fun with the noodles. After all, it's a free pass to play with her food!
Lisa M. Cope is a freelance writer who focuses on parenting and child development issues, among many things. She is the mother of two boys, ages five and two.