Travis’s latest Raddish Kids included this cute lesson, a chance to learn more about noodles and pasta – and the difference between them!
To start things off, I set out a station where he could explore a wide variety of pasta shapes and sizes. Our array included: rotini, cavatappi, spaghetti, elbow macaroni, small shells, and penne.
I challenged him to talk about the differences and similarities that he noticed. Some were long (spaghetti), some were short (cavatappi). Some were straight (penne), some were curly (rigatoni), etc.
This is a fun chance to introduce your kids to the idea of a Venn diagram, showing how categories can overlap. Older kids, especially, might enjoy drawing detailed diagrams, although we kept ours simple.
Once the exploration was done, we set up a game! Travis’s goal was to match up each pasta shape with its name, using yarn to connect them. This was also great for sight-reading!
He was so into it that he wanted to snack on cooked spaghetti. This made for the perfect nosh while we watched a few suggested videos that delved deeper into the history of pasta.
Make sure to check out a world map for a visual of key countries, like China and Italy.
We had to finish with fun stories, of course. Raddish suggested The Great Pasta Escape by Miranda Paul and Noodle Magic by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, among others.
I was surprised to see no mention of Strega Nona, the most classic spaghetti story I can think of, so we added that in. Afterwards, both kids wanted to play “Strega Nona” with a magic pot and leftover dry spaghetti, which was perhaps the best part of the whole lesson.