Painted Pasta Shells

Mar 4, 2012

Using some left over giant pasta shells, we had fun painting and practicing our fine motor skills, coordinationcreativity and imagination.

Ages: 2+

 Lay out the materials clearly so they can be seen and accessed easily by your child.
We used giant pasta shells, paint and glitter for the decorating. A fine paintbrush and wooden stick for painting AND water, ice-cream container lids and a damp cloth for cleaning.

 Getting the paint all over was a little more tricky thanks to the "grooves" (This was a new word she learnt today- Vocabulary)

 Insisting on painting the inside of the shells so our critters will have something pretty to look at on the inside

 Hard at work. Using coordination to handle the shell and paint at the same time. It can get fiddly.

"This one is for the mum, this one is for the big sister, this one is for the brother..." 

 Practicing keeping her brush clean between paint colours so they don't get mixed. A good skill to learn.

 Using the wooden stick (skewer) for some little dots

 Glitter! Remembering that she must get it on before the paint dries so it sticks

 Discovering that if she squeezed the end of the paintbrush while it was wet, she could create water colours over the shell

 Switching to a "thicker" paintbrush so she could "paint quicker!"

Our finished shells. We can't wait to make a family of critters to live in them

Click on the picture below to see how we used these and the Crafty Critters to make a Play Scene

Handy tips:

- These giant pasta shells were just bought from the supermarket. You can use the small ones but then you might want to think of a new purpose for them as they may be a little small to house critters. How about making a mobile out of them?

- Talk about what you are doing with your child. This will help them understand the physical and mental processes they are going through as well as giving them the vocabulary to describe it.

- Use new language and descriptive words like, "grooves" This will help with their language development.

-Ask questions to help connect their understanding and use vocabulary to give them words to describe what they're creating, eg. "What are you creating?" "What could we use them for?" "Why did you choose those colours for the boy's shell?" "I love how you've put stripes on that one" etc

- This activity can be repeated time and time again with a different end result each time. Mix around and change some of the materials that you provide each time to inspire new ideas

- To extend this activity, talk about a purpose for the shells when they're dried. We are using them as little houses. Once they're dry, use them for imaginative play or some decorative purpose. You can also use this time to talk and learn more about Colours and Patterns.

Happy playing,
Debs :)

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  1. This is such a cute idea!! Ill be sure to try this with my little girl:) I'm your newest follower! I hope you'll stop by my blog sometime:)

    1. Thanks Tammy. My little girl won't stop bugging me about making the little critters to live inside these shells now. I best get onto it! haha. Am popping over to your blog right now. Debs :)

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