Recently I found these short little noodles at the store that I've seen used before in pasta salad. I thought they looked a lot like pony beads but with slightly larger holes which makes them even easier to thread onto a shoe lace. I put a large handful of beads in 4 separate bags and then added a few drops of food coloring. After a couple of shakes of the bag, the beads were brightly colored. They dry almost instantly since the dry pasta absorbs the food coloring pretty fast. The kids loved making necklaces with these beads.
One quick tip... don't step on the necklace.... the beads will break into a million pieces!