Monday, May 14, 2012

Rainbow Pasta and Squinkies!

I've been wanting to dye some pasta and create a new sensory bin of some type.  I had not decided on what to do, then Gumby discovered these "Squinkies" at the store the other day.  Specifically, she discovered this amusement park world for them with a working ferris wheel (among other things) that had the button available to push to test it out which turned it on, made it spin, play music, etc. You know, exciting things! It also cost over $50. 
Deeda and I looked at the Squinkies that were for sale and showed several packages to Gumby.  She loves pretend play, so a pack of these was a reasonable choice.  Gumby choose Hello Kitty with a fruit theme. 

I thought that was just begging to be put into some rainbow pasta! :)

Contents of the box:
  • thin spaghetti broken into 1/2 inch to 1 inch sized pieces and dyed with a tablespoon or two of vinegar and 10-20 drops of food coloring.  Make sure it dries completely before sealing it up anywhere!  This was my first time dying pasta.  Dying rice, I use little quart zip lock bags.  Those did not have enough room to mix the colors on the pasta, so I used recycled shopping bags to have a lot of room to shake the pasta around.  It worked fine.
  • containers for pouring, scooping, making food, houses, etc
  • spoons
  • tongs
  • containers to fill, dump, pour, open, close, etc
  • silicon muffin liners
  • some cool spikey balls
  • and of course, the Hello Kitty Squinkies
I had not quite decided when to give this to Gumby.  I usually wait for a lull in the day.  I had it sitting in the living room under a pillow, thinking she would not notice it among the rest of our lovely clutter.  But, she did.  I heard "MAMMA!" and saw a HUGE GRIN.  Since she was working on opening it, I quickly laid down our sheet that I use to help contain messy messes ... She literally DRUG the box onto the sheet in excitement!

The little glass canister has the same open/close mechanism as our sugar bowl.  Gumby promptly filled it with "sugar" for me.

 Time to open up those Squinkies!
The balls are as much fun as the toys themselves.  Gumby loaded them into their "boats" so they could enjoy the "water"
Gumby thinks of everone and doesn't want our dog to be left out of the fun!
Something for the Lil' Dove.  She got a muffin liner full of pasta too from Gumby :)

The pasta definitely had a different texture than the soft, smooth, and small rice that Gumby has played with on numerous occassions.
One of the first things Gumby said was "How do you scoop this?"
She found that hands and tongs worked the best.
The tongs could even be used to chop up the pasta.
The open and close containers provide practice with fine motor skills and patience.  The squinkie balls were very good for that. 

The Squinkies themselves are actually pretty neat.  They are soft and a little squishy.  Kind of addictive.
Gumby practiced counting and one-to-one correspondence.

She told stories and added more characters to the play.
She shared with her family.
Gumby loves the colors, matching, sorting and of course mixing! 

I love how Gumby lines things up!

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