Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 4: Spaghetti Painting

We spent almost all of our last day outside.  Luckily the rain stopped so we could do our spaghetti painting outside.  I have done this activity inside before by plastering the wall, floor and ceiling with large art paper, but outside is much easier.

Of course, my camera died right as the activity began, but one of the parents had a video camera and posted this video of the experience.

This was a family picnic day which is why you see so many adults standing around and hear so much chatting.

To do this:
simply boil a box of spaghetti
drain it
put it into a large bowl
add about 2 cups tempera paint-we used glitter paint-very festive
mix and put out for the children

Just make sure it has cooled down enough to prevent any injuries.
Its great to feel it warm and fresh, but not hot.
I used 4 pounds and made each pound a different color.
We lined our large outdoor easels with paper and let them have a go!  We even had many parents trying it.
Once they've used the spaghetti in the bowls, they can scoop it from the ground and give it another toss.

Ours even made it into the outdoor kitchen and became add ins to the cooking going on there.  Mud pie- spaghetti salad anyone?

Now to prevent any extra visitors from the animal families around the school, we did rake up all of the spaghetti at the end of the activity.

I do know there is controversy about using food in art projects.  I have posted about this activity before and have read and responded to the comments about this practice. I respect the various opinions on this topic.

Our population does not have issues with lack of food and for 99 cents, a box of spaghetti is an affordable art medium providing a unique sensory experience.

Try it!


  1. It is interesting the different perspectives on waste. I would have no issue with my children painting with spaghetti - in fact I would be joyous that my sensory avoiding girl was getting in and doing something messy.

    However I shudder when my girls play with water, each time the garden tap goes on I rush out and turn it off and lecture on water saving. Australia has been in the grip of a severe drought for so long that I no longer view water play as a-okay. We had huge rains this summer just past and I've been able to relax a little but I still monitor the water usage and encourage the girls to take water from the rainwater tank instead of the tap.

  2. Thank you for your comments. We do currently let our hose run at the school a bit when the children want to dig rivers, but our new playground design will feature a few water hand pumps and a rain water collection station to help avoid the excessive use of water. Good to think about, thanks! They sure do love water play.

  3. I went back and read last year's post and comments and have to roll my eyes a little. Is it wasteful to use flour and water and cornstarch to make playdough instead of making bread or some other edible? A dollar is a dollar is a dollar, and whether you spend it on pasta or markers, if it's designated to be spent on art supplies, I say spend it however you like!

    Rather than worry about wasting food, I like to think of that particular activity as supporting the concept that almost anything can be used to create art.