Smiles, Slime and Learning Can Go Hand in Hand

World Smile Day activity

 

October 5th is World SMILE Day. I must have Halloween on the brain because when I saw this I automatically thought of how SLIME brings a smile to my childrens’ faces. In actuality, the day is more about encouraging everyone to “devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout that world.” So, I am taking this opportunity to bring some smiles to my family’s faces and make some learning fun at the same time. We we will perform some acts of kindness that day, too.

Monster Goo

I believe that this first activity goes by many names and was told it is typically called “Oobleck”, but we have always known it as “Monster Goo”.  It is super simple to make and loads of fun.

What You Need:

  • 1 part water
  • 2 parts cornstarch
  • Bowl
  • Mixing spoon or fork
  • A large cookie sheet or a clean flat surface to play on.
  • Food coloring (optional)

Directions:

Step 1: Add water and cornstarch together into the bowl. If you want color, add it before  you add the cornstarch – just a couple drops.

Step 2: Stir together slowly. The faster you stir the harder it will get to mix it up. Be patient and just dig in it nice and slow. It should mix up quickly and will look like liquid in the bowl when it is mixed completely.

Texture Tip: It is ready when it is firm when picked up and liquid like when it is not moving. That sounds confusing, but you will know what I am talking about when you have it right.

Now the Fun Begins…

Here are some ideas of things that you can do with it:

  • For children who are learning letters, numbers or learning how to spell, have them write letters with the goo. My 6 year old son has never been so excited to spell words and my 4 year old was fascinated by watching him.
  • Roll the goo into a ball in your hand and then see what happens when you stop.
  • Create a monster. Roll it up again and then lay it on the table (or pan) and add 2 marbles for eye balls to create a monster. Watch him turn into “Monster Goo”.
  • Talk about the texture of what they feel. Is it hard? Soft? Sticky? Slimy? Are your hands soft or rough?, etc…you get the idea!
  • Give each child a couple of bowls/cups and/or spoons and let them transfer the goo from one to another.

Fun Tip: If the goo gets too dry and is not turning into liquid as fast as before, just add a little water and the fun will continue.

For a cool Halloween look, add some glow-in-the-dark paint for coloring and turn off the lights. We didn’t have to add much and because we used pink it did not seem to leave any after color. The kiddos loved it!

Flubber

Another fun and definitely more SLIME looking recipe that we attempted was for Flubber.

What You Need:

  • 2 tsp Metamucil
  • 2 cups water
  • Small pot
  • Stirring spoon

Directions:

Step 1: Add Metamucil and water together in pot.

Step 2: Stir together and begin to heat on med-high. You will want it to start to boil, but not be on a high boil. Keep on heating while stirring occasionally until a lot of the moisture is gone. We heated for 5-10 minutes 3-4 times, letting it cool in between heatings to see if it was the texture desired. The original instructions we used (found here) encouraged the use of the microwave, but when we followed them, we literally dehydrated the mixture to nothing. So we decided to go with the stovetop where we could observe it better and it was much cooler to watch transform.

I will admit that it turned out very cool to make and look at, but it was not as handy for spelling letters as I had hoped. And for us, once it got pulled apart a bunch, it never really looked like it’s starting form…”Slimey”. It was still a fun project, though!

This entry was posted in Learning with Crafts, Michelle, Reading and Literacy and tagged , , , , by Michelle and Courtney.

About Michelle and Courtney

You can find more from Michelle and Courtney over at Fun on a Dime since 2010. Through this creative blog they encourages families to discover that fun does not have to cost a lot or be very complicated. Michelle received a degree in Recreation Management, which sparked her interest in finding ways to incorporate fun and learning into her own family’s life every day. Courtney received a degree in Education, where she discovered her love of learning and now home schools 4 of 6 of her children. They both currently reside in sunny Phoenix, Arizona with their husbands and children (Michelle's ages 7, 6 and 1, Courtney ages 11, 10, 8, 5, 3, 1) Their motto: After years have gone by, the time you have spent playing with your family will be one of the things you will never regret.

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