Pasta Bat Hunt

As you may know I love to create sensory play activities for Emily, especially when there is a theme that I can stick to. Last year I did frozen jelly in the shapes of skulls and bones. Emily loved the activity and I wanted to create something new, and Halloween-y. I came up with the idea of a pasta bat hunt, at first I was unsure as to how I was going to create the bats – I did think of ordering some rubber bats, but where is the fun in that. When I was buying the macaroni to hide the bats (that I hadn’t yet figured out how to make), I stumbled upon some bow pasta. I figured it looked like bats, and once it was dyed black it would be perfect.
This activity is super easy to recreate and Emily has had lots of fun playing with it. 

What you need:
Macaroni pasta
farfalle pasta (bows)
paint (colour of your choice, I would recommend black and orange)
zip lock bag

Dying your pasta is super simple. Most people use food colouring which is fine – it just isn’t the way I do it. I simply add the pasta into a zip lock bag, and add a few blobs of paint. Then zip up the bag and shake up the bag. If the pasta is completely covered then it’s done, if not add some more paint.

I then tip out the pasta onto some baking paper, and let it dry overnight. Once it is dry you are ready to go. As long as the paint is dry, it shouldn’t come off in your hands, I have never had paint wear off while it is being played with either.

I filled up a dish with the orange pasta, and then added the bats. I made sure that I buried some of them, so that Emily was able to dig and find them. I then added some tweezers that we got from Imagido, I have four different pairs, jumbo tweezers, gater grabber tweezers, squeezy tweezers, and another squeezy pair. These tweezers are great for helping develop hand eye coordination, and gross motor skills.

Emily absolutely loved this activity, she has played with it two days in a row and has asked for it constantly. I love that this sensory play activity promotes pretend play, Emily had the best time finding the bats, and pretending that they had hidden from her. She also really enjoyed counting the bats which really helped with reinforcing the numbers she already knows. She can now comfortably count to ten, and I am so proud of her for it.

Emily got on best with the gater tweezers and the squeezy tweezers. I think this is purly because they are smaller and easier for her to hold. She really enjoyed using them to pick up the black bats. She got a little frustrated at first, but once I showed her how to do it, and then helped her, she got the hang of it. I’m so proud of her for not giving up.

Areas of learning
As a nursery practitioner I was required to track the development of the children in my care. Using the 7 areas of learning and development as set out by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Using the Early Years objectives as a guide I was able to observe the following during play.

Understands use of objects (e.g 'What do we use to cut up things?')
Shows understanding of prepositions such as 'under', 'on top', 'behind' by carrying out an action or selecting correct picture
learns new words very rapidly and is able to use them in communicating
physical development
moving and handling
shows control in holding and using jugs to pour, hammers, books and mark-making tools.

recites numbers in order to 10.

shapes and measure
beginning to categorise objects according to properties such as shape or size.
Expressive arts and design
Being imaginative

beginning to make-believe by pretending.

The Early Years Outcomes document is a non statutory guide to support practitioner. It can be used by childminders, nurseries and others such as ofsted, throught the Early Years as a guide for making best fit judgement about whether a child is showing typical behaviour for their age, may be at risk of delay or ahead for their age.


  1. Aw this is a fantastic idea Steph! Emily seems to have enjoyed herself. I think Archie would really enjoy this xx

  2. you're so creative! This is a fantastic idea for little ones x

  3. Oh this is such a cute and fun idea with Halloween just around the corner! I think my two would really enjoy a sensory activity like this xx

  4. This is such a fab activity and perfect for Halloween! You can tell Emily is loving it! I need to give this a go with Sophie, as I'm sure she would really enjoy it too x

  5. That's a lovely, simple idea and also like the idea of the tweezers.

  6. What a brilliant idea!

    Your little one looked like she had a great time playing with it x x x

  7. How fun! I know for a fact that Burrito Baby would love this but I can even imagine her big sister wanting to get involved, too!

  8. Oh Emily this brilliant! I'm defo doing this with the babogs this week, they'll LOVE it!


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