Patterned Pasta Necklaces

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This first weekend of May we were making “pasta jewelry”, as a gift for Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is celebrated on different days around the world. In Spain we celebrate Mother’s Day the first Sunday of May. 

We used to celebrate that festivity the 8th of December, day of the Inmaculate Conception. The church decided  to separate  those celebrations and move Mother’s Day to May, the month of Mary.

Resources

  • Pasta

  • Bowls with lids

  • 2 or more food colouring bottles

  • Vinegar

  • Stick or paintbrush (to mix the food colouring and the vinegar)

  • A tray (to allow the pasta dry after dying it)

  • Note: an apron and a crafts table cloth would be helpful. Both can be made using bin bags.

Method

You can start by showing children pictures of pasta jewellery and explain to them that we are going to make our own pasta necklaces. You can use the gallery on the left or find additional examples here.

  1. Gather the resources for the activity.

  2. Use a small container to mix the vinegar and the food colouring. You can mix them with the stick, tooth picks or the paint brush. It is difficult to say how much you need of each as it depends on the brands and the amount of pasta. In our case we used 8 spoonful of vinegar and 4 of food colouring.

  3. Put some pasta in the bowl with lid and pour the dying mixture. Put the lid on and enjoy shaking it to get the perfect dye. Make sure the container you use closes tight. You now have a shaker in your hands. 

  4.  Once the pasta is dyed you can put it on a tray to dry. After a few hours you can start making your own jewellery designs.

Learning Opportunities for Reception Children

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The learning opportunities are numbered in relation to the steps of the method described above.

  1. Reading and writing opportunities. If your child is in Reception, you can ask him to read the list of resources and discuss how we write lists (“one item in each line, with a number or line at the beginning of the line”)

  2. Maths/adding: Cooking always brings lots of maths learning opportunities. Examples: 

    1. We poured four spoonfuls, let’s add one more, so that makes…? 

    2. Look our bowl is half full now! 

    3. How many spoonfuls in total? Eight of vinegar and 4 of food colouring, altogether makes? You can support your child to add these using the pasta, a number line (if you have a calendar in the kitchen that is a brilliant number line) or drawing spoons to match the quantities you used.

  3. Expressive Art / music & junk modelling:

Once you have your shaker you may want to take some time to sing a song and shake your pasta bowl to Can you make up a song together? Can your child hear the rhyming words in your song? You may want to help him/her by emphasizing those words.

4.   Maths/patterns:

Once your pasta is dyed and dried you can make your necklaces. Patterns make these crafts look better and helps develop children maths skills. Try using two colours (red, green, red, green,…) and move into three colours if your child is confident to do so. If you used different types of pasta you can also do a shape or size pattern.

5.  Communication and imagination skills. Once you have your jewellery ready you can set up a “jewellery shop” at home. This will allow your child to practice her/his language as well as her/his maths. Ensure that you have some purses and coins to pay for your shopping. You can add price labels to your bracelets and necklaces!

Have lots of fun!