Isn't it pretty? It's just different kinds of macaroni dyed with rubbing alcohol and food coloring. It's cheap, quick, and easy to do!
Here's what you need:
Different types of macaroni/pasta
Gallon-size ziplock bags
Here's what you do:
1. Pour some rubbing alcohol into your ziplock bag. About 1/3 of a pint will color two big handfuls of macaroni.
2. Add in your food coloring. For most colors, about 1/3 to 1/2 of those little bottles that come in four-packs will do the job. For some colors, like blue or purple, you may need to use a lot more - even the whole bottle. If you use paste or gel food coloring, add enough so that the colors will be deep.
3. Fill up your zip lock bag with a couple big handfuls of macaroni. It should be about half full.
4. Knead your bag carefully until the pasta is deeply colored. (Be careful about poking a hole in your bag with sharp pieces of pasta!)
5. When you are satisfied with your color, drain the ziplock bag by cutting a small piece off of the corner. Careful, it comes out quick! My professor said it was okay to put it down the sink, just run some water to make sure you don't dye your sink!
6. Place the macaroni on layers of newspapers to dry. If you do this outside, be sure the macaroni is drained well, because if the alcohol seeps through the newspaper, it will kill the grass!
And that's it! For our class, everyone brought two different kinds of pasta and we mixed it all up together. Everyone did one color, and then we mixed it all back up again. That way, we got lots of different colors and different shapes. Here's a close up of some of the different shapes and colors we got:
Kids can learn sorting, colors, shapes, graphing skills, and anything else you can use counters for with these. I thought they'd also be great for a myriad of craft projects. Hope you have fun!