My son was so excited by this activity. You only have to say the words “lets make slime” to any 4 year old boy to watch their face light up with joy! The fact that is was green, (his all time favourite colour) just made it all the more wow-tastic.
Now we have made gloop many times before, which is just cornflour and water mixed together. If you haven’t made it you must, its a wonderful sensory activity for any toddler or child. This time however I wanted to make something a bit more, well, slimey, for my boys to really get their teeth (or rather hands) into.
The mixture is one of those that you can tweak a bit to make it more runny or more firm and ‘dough’ like depending on how much water you add. The best way to go is on the ‘less is more’ principle and just keep adding a little more water at a time until it is the right kind of sliminess for your liking!
- 2 and 1/4 cups cornflour
- 1/2 cup shampoo
- 5-7 tablespoons of water. (start with 5, mix and see if you need more. Once you have gone too runny its hard to get it doughy again)
- a few drops of food colouring
Put your cornflour in a bowl and mix in the shampoo, I just bought some cheap shampoo at the $2 shop as it was bright green and smelled nice! Add a few drops of food colouring if you wish, if your shampoo is not brightly coloured enough. Now add the water a tablespoon at a time and mix well before adding each extra tablespoon. As you can see from the first photo, ours went a bit runny, however as we played with it it lost some of the moisture and became more dough like. It is more fun when doughy as it seems to have a stretchy, shinny, gooeyness which the boys loved. We could do handprints and roll it into balls, then watch as the balls ‘melted’ off our hands.
J liked it best when it was in a bowl, with more water added so he could stir it around and around. There are not many photos of the firmer dough as I was so busy playing with it (with the boys ahem..) that it was hard to keep my hands clean enough to take photos! I stored the firmer dough in an airtight tub so we could play with it again. I would say it lats for a few days but not that long. You may just need to add a touch more water to rejuvinate it! Oh and by the way, it looks crazy-scary-messy I know, like “aghhhh why would you ever make this in your house you mad person???”… but trust me, it’s actually not that messy and is sooo easy to clean up with just the wipe of a wet cloth. Promise ;-P x
NB here are a few extra photos of a firmer version of the slime made on a separate occasion.
The most fun you (and your kids) will ever have with a salad spinner…
You will need:
- A salad spinner (no, really?!)
- non-toxic poster paint, watered down slightly if it is thick.
- blu tack or masking tape
- child, or children, if you decide to let them join in…
Take the inner basket out of your salad spinner and draw around it on a peice of paper so you have an idea of how lagre your paper will be. Use this as your template and cut several peices of paper into this circle shape.
use a piece of blu-tack or masking tape folded over ontu itself to secure a piece of precut paper inside of the basket.
Let your child (or go on, have a go yourself) put a few blobs of slightly watered down paint on to the middle of the peice of paper. Be as experimental with colours as you like! Get them to try the 3 primary colours to guess what colours will be created (using red and yellow for example).
Pop the lid on and SPIN BABY SPIN!!!!
Remove your paper and admire your artwork! Then try another, and another… (be warned, salad spinner art is seriously addictive so be sure to have enough paper handy!)
Make sure you wash your spinner thorughly, before using it actually spin salad (or keep a spinner just for art making purposes!) x
A super easy craft activity that my boys LOVED. All you need is a simple salt dough and either items found from nature or toy dinosuars (or both!)
Salt dough recipe
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 3/4 cup hot water (or there abouts)
- black food colouring
Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Then add the oil. Add about a teaspoon of black food colouring to the hot water water and slowly pour it into the mixture, stirring as you go. If dough becomes too wet add a little more flour, or too dry add more water at a tablespoon a time. Kneed until it is a nice smooth dough.Divide dough into roughly equal sized parts and roll each piece to about 1 cm thick. let your childs imagination take over, as they choose which fossils to make. We went on a ‘nature walk’ to select shells, leaves, and things such as seed pods, and also used a selection of plastic dinosaurs.
I didn’t manage to get many photos as S needed a bit of help during the process, but I think its easy enough to work out what to do!
Bake them in the oven at 120 c (I used fan mode) for 1-2 hours, I greased the baking tray lightly with spray oil first, and turned the ‘fossils’ every half hour until they felt hollow and seemed thoroughly dried out. It depends on the thickness of your dough. You may need to remove some sooner then others before they get brown.Varnish if you like, but we left ours as they were. S took his proudly to his Montessori pre-school where they have placed them in a basket with a magnifying glass for the other children to explore, so we have since made another batch and he seemed to enjoy it even more. x
Not really fireworks at all. Just a simple experiment ulitising the properties of oil and water, and the beautiful result of food colouring unfurling and spreading wonderful patterns and colour in front of your astonished child (and your own) eyes.
Note – before you start, explain carefully to your child that there will be no real fireworks invloved, just an underwater display similar to firewrks. That way you won’t have a sulking toddler on your hands. Just saying…
You will need:
- Glass jar,vase or similar (Taller and slim is better that a bowl)
- 2 tablespoons oil – any veg oil will do
- Red, yellow, blue food colouring – no more them 3 drops of each colour
- small measuring jug
- measuring spoon
Fill you jar/vase 3/4 full with water
Pour your oil into a small, easy pour jug. Add 2-3 drops of each food colouring no more then this, LESS IS MORE! (*note, we first did this with 3 colours, the second time with just two. I actually preferred only 2 colours as they mixed to form a secondary colour i.e. yellow and blue made green, the 3 colours together ended up a brown shade which wasn’t so exciting. Too much food colouring won’t give you good ‘fireworks’) Let your child to stir the oil and food colouring into the jug to break the droplets apart, they won’t mix.
Give it a good stir!
Tell small person to carefully, slowly (s.l.o.w.l.y….gahh we had one big mess when it all overflowed) pour the oil mixture into the water. Now wait…it takes a little bit of time…but sit back and watch with fascination as the oil and water separate, and ‘ta-daaaah!’ there you have it, underwater fireworks!
We repeated this a few times till they got bored, (which usually takes S about 5 minuts) It was really was interesting seeing the different colour combinations and wacthing the colours slowly unfurl in the water, just a little bit magical. I’m not sure if ‘fireworks’ is the best term for this underwater display, but it kind of adds to the drama so I’m going to stick with it!
Oh S wanted me to stir the water too and it created a whilrpool, which was fun to watch and another learning moment! A quick and easy indoor activity. x
So this month in New Zealand it’s the Maori celebration of Matariki to mark the start of the Maori New Year. S loves space. Actually he’s pretty much just obsessd with it. We talked about the stars, the constilation of Matariki (also known as Pleiades or the Seven Sisters) and the Solar System. Learning whist playing is by far the best way to learn! So to tie the two together what better then a good old bit of playdough. Any excuse to get glitter invoved as far as I’m concerned, yay!
This is by far the easiest (and I think best) playdough recipe I have tried (and I have tried a LOT of recipes…) simply because it uses minimum ingreadients, is a no cook recipe i.e. less washing up (fist pumps), and makes the perfect amount.
Best ever, basic NO COOK playdough recipe:
- 1/2 cup of table salt
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 1 tablespoon Cream of Tatar (find in baking section)
- 1 tablespoon any veg oil
- 2/3 – 1 cup on boiling hot water
- food colouring
- foil confetti, glitter, small glitter stars, small balls etc
Method – Place first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Boil kettle and fill cup almost full and add as much food colouring as required For a strong colour about 2 dessert spoons. Add most of the water to bowl and stir thouroughly. If mixtures seems dry add rest of water. If too wet, add about a tablespoon of flour. Take care as mixture will be hot, but kneed until dough forms a ball. Allow to cool. Store in airtight container when not in use. Keeps for 1-2 months.
For SPACE-DOUGH you will need black food colouring (duh) and I used foil confetti (from $ shop) plus regular glitter, and some larger glitter stars, the type you get in the craft section. Add the glittery stuff just before you kneed it. Save the balls to give to the little peeps, I gave the boys small bouncy balls for planets (again, from $ shop) and marbles too. In the photo you can see beads but I actually decided against using these in the end.
It was so much fun to play with, yes I totally got involved, and S even chose different marbles and balls to represent the ‘solar-system’ – see top photo (Only about 1 million questions asked) I happen to randomly know the order of the planets off by heart…phew. But if you don’t after the Sun it’s:
- Pluto – Yeah no longer classed as a planet but, anyway.
Happy Matariki! x
Saw a similar thing here (WOW I am sooo excited that I just learnt to do a hyperlink! Sorry, I am a total techno-phobe mostly, and my husband – mega geek – just showed me and I almost did a little dance! Sorry, I digress…)
Back to the Geo Board – I didn’t have a pin board but I did have a couple of cork mats that I use for putting hot pots/pans on so I thought that will do just nicely thank you! Add to the mix a packet of rubber bands and a box of push pins and you have a fun ‘game’ that will keep your child entertained whilst also teaching fine motor skills and shape recognition. Oh and S obviously thought it was amazing since it contained PINS, an item usually forbidden due to their ability to inflict pain and damage! (yes, he did take them out and scracth the table but…meh)
Little J even got involved and thought it was great fun! I MUST stress that adult supervision is required at all time!!!! (unfortunatly not one to bring out while making dinner, sigh)
Improvise with your choice of board, any kind of notice board will do, the bigger the better!