Pasta Pencil Holder for Dad Activity

3.6 based on 54 ratings
Updated on Jun 5, 2014

As anyone with a desk can attest, you can never have enough holders for loose pens and pencils. This year on Dad's day, here's a creative gift that your child can make using simple materials, some of them even recycled. As an added bonus, this project gives your child excellent tactile practice with making patterns and forming letters. So pull out some pasta and glue, and get ready for fun!

What You Need:

  • Empty double-quart milk carton, washed and dried
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue or hot glue gun
  • Pasta in various shapes
  • Gold metallic spray paint

What You Do:

  1. To set everything up, start by cutting off a half-gallon square milk carton, about 4 inches from the bottom, so that you have a sturdy cube.
  2. For the next, creative stage, your child will decorate the four sides of the carton with various shapes of pasta. Help your child visualize the possibilities by putting out bowls, each with a different shape. We especially recommend thin, straight tubes small shells, small elbows, and bow ties or wagon wheels for special flourishes, but don't let that restrain you. The possibilities can be infinite!
  3. On at least one side, start by having your child use pasta shapes (the long tubes work great) to spell D-A-D. Use the craft glue or hot glue gun to fasten each piece down. On the remaining sides, encourage your child to alternate pasta shapes and create designs both on the border of the carton and on its flat sections. (Psst: this part is especially helpful for young learners because patterns are a key part of early math learning!)
  4. When your child has finished, give the project plenty of time to dry. Hot glue tends to harden and dry very quickly, but check the label on your craft glue: you may need several hours.
  5. To finish off your child's masterpiece, take it outdoors to a well-ventilated spot, on top of a protective covering such as a stack of old newspapers. Spray it thoroughly with the gold paint (you may want two coats), and prepare for squeals of delight. You have helped your child make a gilded gift, full of love and care, that's bound to be a hit!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.

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