Pasta may be the one food that nearly every child loves. The adventurous ones slurp it down with pesto, the cautious and picky ones, doused in butter and cheese — and all of them, down to a kid, wants to play with it. So it’s genius that Hape, the German toy brand known for making thoughtful wooden toys from sustainable materials, combined the irresistible squiggliness of pasta with play shrimp, broccoli, mushrooms, and other toppings to make one really fun and clever toy.
Play foods are what’s known as real-world toys: Playing with them helps children make sense of the world and understand what goes on around them. They mimic what they see the adults in their lives doing, which often means making meals in the kitchen. And in this case, they get bendable pasta, which they can twist into whatever shape they want (i.e., what they really want to be doing every time pasta’s for dinner). When they’re done, they attach any or all of the 13 pieces of food, to make whimsical or kooky faces. Or creatures. Or shapes. Or, or, or…
This toy in particular is designed for preschoolers, and by engaging their senses, it helps them develop their fine motor skills as they use their fingers to move the spaghetti and connect it to, say, two googly eyes. Why? Because — trust us — they’ll want to. There’s no limit to how they can play with this toy, and because it has no electronic bells or whistles, it invites children to use their imaginations. They’re dying to play with their spaghetti; now you can let them.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.
This article was originally published on