We’re on a taste safe sensory play exploration this week! One of the top questions I get are what are taste safe play ideas for mouthing toddlers and play ideas for babies. I’ll start with the safest idea which is very shallow water and some kitchen tools. Also water and oil in a taped down zip lock bag with some interesting items tossed in like frozen peas. These are a forever go to for safe baby play. Here I share a really colorful, fun, and safe way to play with pasta. This post contains affiliate links.
When I expand past water as taste safe play I look to food.
Pasta is a classic sensory material. For one, it’s something most people already have in their homes. If not already at home, it’s inexpensive. It’s also easy to cook and play with, and kids just LOVE the texture. Quinn is 29 months old and I can’t get over how much he loved this play.
For younger toddlers focus on larger pasta pieces like the giant shells.
As always sensory play should be completely supervised, especially with young toddlers, with the parent or caregiver directly next to them.
Taste safe sensory play is exactly that, it’s taste safe if your toddler brings it to their mouths, and is great for beginning sensory play as an opportunity to gently remind them that this is for play, not to eat.
I recommend eating a meal or snack before sensory play, it will make it less desirable for toddlers to eat!
This is one of the easiest taste safe sensory play ideas to make!
- cook your pasta and rinse with cold water
- mix food coloring into the wet pasta
- let sit for a few minutes to dry
That’s it! Food coloring can stain hands but it comes off so easily with soap and water. Full How To Video Below!
Now, I love to reuse our play so after Q played here for over an hour making “pasta soup” I transformed the play into something else.
Our Play Transition to Small World Play
Here I asked Q what we should turn our pasta into and he requested an ocean. I had him help me pour blue water into the play tray and we added some whales.
Sometimes play transitions are as simple as that, adding some water and a fun new element.
My secret with water is…
Adding just a tiny bit of cornstarch to it! It makes it an even brighter color as you play! You can see some very cute food color stained hands here, signs of a good play! And again, it comes right off with soap and water.
Our third play transition is freezing it!
Play is often as simple as that, something frozen. I show Q how salt helps the melting along and we play here for another hour!
The fourth play is a mix of the frozen and unfrozen pasta.
All in all, I used 1/2 of 4 boxes of pasta at $0.85 each. We got FOUR plays out of it and I have it tossed back in the freezer for another day. Reminder to save and reuse all your sensory play materials. Did you see what I did with our frozen dino eggs?
Taste safe play ideas are a staple around here. While Q is over a year past exploring anything with his mouth I still include lots of “safe” play ideas in our daily sensory play. Every day he asks me for a beach with water, check it out here. It’s cereal sand and water. So easy!