Five FUN Things To Do with Macaroni

Macaroni is a playtime and meal time favorite!

By Jennifer Sheran, publisher McDonough, Stockbridge, Hampton, Locust Grove Macaroni Kid July 6, 2022

Five Things to Do with Macaroni

What’s not to love about Macaroni? You'll find macaroni of all shapes and sizes a staple in recipes throughout the year. There are even plant-based, gluten-free options! Macaroni is also a standard item in any pre-school, kindergarten or Sunday school supply closet. Macaroni is a great medium for art projects of all kinds. Its texture, shape, and sound are excellent for sensory stimulation. 

But first, a little history.

While no one is sure of the exact origin of this curved creature comfort, the International Pasta Organization traces the word ‘macaroni’ to the Greeks. The Greeks established the colony of Neopolis (modern day Naples) between 2000 and 1000 BC, and had a local dish made from barley-flour pasta and water called macaria, possibly named after a Greek goddess.

Here are five ideas to get you started on some family fun with macaroni.

1. Make a Favorite Recipe

Macaroni is true comfort food. From macaroni and cheese to goulash, it is the star of many family meals. A summer favorite of mine is BLT macaroni salad. It has the saltiness of the bacon, crispness of lettuce, and a slight sweetness in the dressing that makes it a perfect pool-side or picnic dish. 

BLT Macaroni Salad Recipe

Combine in a large bowl:

  • 4-6 cups Macaroni pasta, cooked, and drained
  • Bacon (to save time I buy precooked Bacon pieces)
  • 2 cups Shredded lettuce
  • 1-2 pints Cherry tomatoes halved


Mix all ingredients below.

  • 1 cup Mayo
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Scallions 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Toss dressing in the large bowl with the macaroni mixture. Serve cold.

2. Dye the Macaroni in Your Child's Favorite Colors for Creativity

How to Paint Dry Macaroni

  • Place macaroni in large sealed Ziplock bags. 
  • Pour in craft acrylic or tempera paint and mix. 
  • Pour mixture on wax paper to dry. 
  • Repeat for other colors. 

How to Dye Pasta

  • Put ½ cup dry pasta in a cup and cover with rubbing alcohol. 
  • Add 4-5 drops of food coloring in and mix. 
  • Soak for 8 hours and then drain on a paper towel for a few hours. 

With your colorful macaroni beads you can make all kinds of jewelry and art. Which leads us to number three...

3. Make Art with Macaroni

Macaroni has inspired many types of arts and crafts projects for kids of all ages. Its many sizes and textures inspire creativity and imagination. And it is an inexpensive, non-toxic art supply! Here are four ways to create with macaroni. 

Build structures with different pastas - who needs legos?

Make Jewelry - string colored dried macaroni and other pasta on yarn for a neat necklace.

Make Art - gather glue, macaroni, and your imagination to create mosaic designs or an ornament. 

Visit our Pinterest board for more macaroni art inspiration.

4. Make a Sensory Tool

Use pastas in different shapes and colors in a sensory bin for young fingers to explore. Add other items such as beans, rice, pom poms, and more. You can also make a sensory bottle or instrument by putting colored macaroni in an empty water bottle, add some glitter, water, and corn syrup.

5. Color the Macaroni 

Talk with your child about their favorite foods made with pasta, and discuss the different shapes and sizes as you color the macaroni and play the match game with these two macaroni-themed printables for coloring and matching fun.

Get your Free Macaroni downloads here.

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