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I was out of regular spaghetti noodles the other night, but I had lots of wagon wheel pasta on hand. As it cooked, I looked at the shapes and thought they were really interesting- not only did they look like little wagon wheels, but they also looked like miniature gears! Of course that meant I couldn’t cook all the pasta, some would have to be set aside for an interesting Invitation To Create with my boys later 🙂

If you’re planning on re-creating this invitation with your munchkins, first you’ll need to dye the pasta. I have a simple tutorial for dying pasta here.
Once the pasta was dry, I just had to test out the materials for myself. I wanted to see how “gear-like” the pasta would behave.
I gathered toothpicks, the pasta, and a piece of styrofoam to make my creation. The pasta actually has little ridges that make for great little gears! They’re not going to be perfect (we love our refrigerator gears and would highly recommend them for the little engineers in your life), but they were a fun little way to get my wheels turning 😉 On the downside, the pasta is small and would take great fine motor skills to actually make them work as gears. Still, I wanted to at least present the materials to the boys to see how they would respond to them.
Cannon was most interested in sticking every toothpick in the styrofoam first. Then he carefully added the pasta. On one of the toothpicks he made a little pasta tower! A little while later we had a few friends come over and they also became super interested in making their own creations!

Pretty soon it became a collaborative three dimensional art project. It was great to see all their little hands working together!
Whether you choose to use them as miniature gears, or just leave the invitation open to create a simple fine motor play opportunity, this activity is a quick and easy way to give kids a chance to be creative 🙂
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2 thoughts on “Invitation to Create with Wagon Wheel Pasta”

  1. I love your ideas for the wagon wheel pasta! I was thinking that you could also use skewers instead of toothpicks for a taller “tower”, and if you didn’t have styrofoam on hand, you could always stick the skewers or toothpicks in a big piece of playdough. The kids might even enjoy pressing the pasta into the playdough to see the imprint. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. I love the idea of using it with play dough! Thank you for stopping by and leaving me these ideas <3

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