I saw this idea on this blog and thought I'd make some of my own for my son to play with.You start with different shaped pasta, separate it into ziplock bags, cover with rubbing alchohol, add a few drops of food coloring and let it sit. I double bagged mine and put the bags in one large rubbermaid bowl incase anything leaked and then I let them sit overnight. Then I poured the pasta out onto paper towel covered cookie sheets to fully dry. I added several drops of food coloring to really get bright, true colors and I used some of the regular colors and some of the neon colors (which are perfect for Easter Eggs). I used as many pasta shapes with holes as I could find so he can string them on yarn. The penne, large macaroni, rigatoni and wheels were perfect for this.
Now we have fun colors and shapes to sort, count, and string on yarn. He loves sorting them in the cupcake tins. We use cupcake tins for eating lunch out of sometimes and sorting out other small objects.