Try spaghetti letters to learn to write your name, from Julie, that’s sensory-rich, messy, and loads of fun!
“Academic” activities can often be the same old, same old or worksheet-centric.
But your toddler or preschooler will love this 100% hands-on, sensory letter learning activity – with spaghetti!
Spaghetti Letters to Learn to Write Your Name?
Yup, spaghetti. I know – not what you were expecting, right?
But it’s something we all have at home. Plus, it’s simple to make and keep on hand for whenever the learning bug strikes!
Make simple and random spaghetti art for simple, sensory creative fun!
For this hands-on letters activity, you’ll need:
- cooked spaghetti
- clear plastic paper protector sheets (optional)
This letter learning activity is simple on the surface, but it packs a big punch!
Why We’re Obsessed with Hands-On Learning
Yes, it’s literally in our name – Hands On As We Grow® – but we take this kind of play and learning to heart for a reason! Hands-on play is one of the best ways to help your child grow.
These types of playful interactions and activities will help him develop the skills and strength to write, draw, and think in the coming years.
This simple name learning activity with spaghetti letters will help your child develop:
- Fine Motor Skills: Bending and shaping delicate strands of spaghetti is a wonderful practice for little fingers.
- Letter Recognition Skills: As your child traces each letter with spaghetti, he’ll begin to recognize and remember each letter!
- Name Recognition Skills: Seeing their name written out, and tracing it, helps to introduce or reinforce the spelling of their name.
- Sensory Processing: Different textures and temperatures send signals to your child’s brain. With each signal, new pathways are formed. Sensory input helps your child’s brain make connections and grow!
Let’s not forget the social and emotional benefit that comes from spending time together! This simple hands-on letter learning activity is great for your child on many different levels.
Keep playing with a slimy spaghetti sensory activity for toddlers!
Cook & Learn Together in the Kitchen
First, you’ll cook the spaghetti. For the best results, undercook the spaghetti.
You don’t want it too mushy for little fingers. This will make the activity a little less messy.
You’ll want about one cup or less of cooked spaghetti per child. A little goes a long way, so you won’t have to cook up the whole box!
If you’re feeling adventurous or have extra time, you can dye the spaghetti for a colorful twist. This tutorial on how to dye pasta is simple and quick!
No time? Don’t worry.
We chose to go with plain, uncolored spaghetti, and my kids still loved this letter learning activity!
What letters should you choose?
Next, choose which letters to focus on. If you have a letter of the week, this is another great activity to reinforce that learning!
We chose to practice with names.
My son is in Kindergarten, so he’s a self-proclaimed professional when it comes to spelling his name. We used this activity to reinforce the proper way to write letters neatly.
My two-year-old daughter is just learning to spell her name. She can sing the alphabet song beautifully, but is still working on recognizing each letter in print.
We used spaghetti letters to practice letter recognition with her name.
Using Spaghetti as a Fun Way to Learn to Write Your Name
Before you get to spelling with spaghetti, you need to prep your letter mats.
Write your letters in a big, colorful font. We used markers, but you could use any writing utensil you have on hand.
If you already have pre-printed letters or word mats, you could also use those.
We didn’t originally plan to do this with the same words or letter repeatedly. But now that I know my kids love it, I’m going to re-make the letter/name papers and slip them into those plastic paper protector sleeves – like for presentations or 3-ring binders.
Having them covered like this will make them more durable, especially with sticky pasta! Plus, then I can use other materials, like play dough or bread dough.
Make letters with play dough for hands-on learning fun!
I love that this hands-on letter learning activity is so adaptable to each child’s needs and stages!
Easy-to-Make Spaghetti Letters
This is the best part!
Give each child a small bowl of spaghetti. Remember to let it cool slightly after you drain it to prevent and burns on your child’s fingers.
Pro tip: make the pasta the night before. Drain and sprinkle with a little olive oil, then cool overnight in the fridge.
My son knew what to do right away. He set right to tracing each letter of his name carefully with spaghetti.
He made sure to lay the spaghetti down in the same order as he would write with a pencil. This helped him practice letter formation in a fun way!
For my younger daughter, I showed her how to measure the spaghetti and break off a piece just long enough for the letter segment.
You could also introduce a scissors for cutting the spaghetti! Cooked spaghetti is a great first medium for cutting practice.
Then we practiced neatly placing the spaghetti on top of the letters.
We reinforced letter recognition by naming each letter as she put the spaghetti on top.
I also had her trace each letter with her finger for more muscle memory and fine motor support!
Keep playing and learning with these fine motor skills activities!
What is your favorite way to encourage to learn to write their name?
Share your best ideas in the comments!