Okay, I did it: I had my kids try something I saw on Pinterest and...
...I must say, it was pretty fun! We used rice pasta of course (darned gluten sensitivity!) and my kids carefully pushed the dry pasta through the pieces of hot dog before I tossed them into a pot of boiling water to cook.
One of my friends called these "Rapunzel Snacks" with their long flowing hair -- I thought that was pretty clever. My kids called them hot dog squid. Either way, my kids loved doing this and giggled the entire time.
Thank you Pinterest!