Home Construction Engineering for Kids : Build with Pasta

Engineering for Kids : Build with Pasta

Engineering for Kids : Build with Pasta
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{I colored all the pasta we used in this activity with our favorite AmeriColor food color.}

I picked up this rainbow playdough starter pack { taking a break from our favorite homemade playdough} and this has been wonderful for both my kids. { Our fine motor playdough pasta rainbows were a hit}

It has been a while since we really played with playdough. What’s better than pairing it with some cool engineering activity?



The idea is to engineer a structure using a variety of pasta { in varying weight , size and shapes} and use playdough as a “mortar” of sorts.

Before I talked to the kids about the project, my 4 year was off building and creating with the materials.  Her take on any art project or any kids activity for that matter has always been very abstract and enjoying the materials as they are. She went straight to the wheel pasta and started balancing the penne over them. Big sis 6 had to chime in with her ” you know if you place the wheel pasta over the line pasta you can actually make a tree”. But the 4 year old decisively said that she does not want to make a tree. Thta’s what we want right? What do they see when an invitation is set up? What do they want to build? It doesn’t have to have any rhyme or reason.

pasta play

Here is another one she made. Her idea is to explore every single material laid out there. Her intention was to use up the bow-tie pasta and she went for it. This one was a little tricky though. She did need help balancing the structure but the vision was hers. She also learned that she couldn’t build a higher structure than the one below without it toppling down.

engineering for kids

And then we have our 6 year old who has a plan before attempting a project. She wanted to build a house, a truck/car, a bike and a person who lives in that house. That’s exactly what she did.

I showed her that the base can be a nice, sturdy square. { Does anyone feel this looks like that Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube?}

colorful pasta building

With the 6 year old, we talked about the choice of pasta for various parts of the structure.

build with everyday materials

She chose the sturdier rotini pasta for the base and ended up using both the penne and the rotini for the walls. The decision making process of choosing the materials was a wonderful exercise in understanding balance and structural engineering.

process of building with pasta

Well a house is not complete with a big giant bow on top!

kids play with pasta

Then she went onto visualize a truck. When she has trouble getting the image in her mind and translating into the actual structure, it helps to show an image. { iPhones are there for this exact purpose!!}

truck and house with pasta

We did the same with a bike. She chose to use the play dough for the body of the bike and stuck with pasta for the handle bars and the wheels.

Pasta structures bicycle

Someone has to live in that house! She created a person who is holding 2 houses together.

engineer a structure with pasta

All our structures that come out of this colorful engineering activity for kids.

pasta engineering for kids

My favorite because we did this together!

engineering for kids with rainbow pasta


Thanks for reading

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Play With Pasta - simple engineering for kids from Kids Play Box Play With Pasta - simple engineering for kids

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