Monday, September 24, 2012

Color in a Bag; A Squishy Adventure

I'm finding that Pinterest is my new best friend when it comes to locating new ideas for activities to do with Erik and Paisley. There are just so many cool things on there! This is one I pinned a long time ago and then forgot about. I rediscovered it in my boards the other day and I decided we had to give it a go. It's all the fun of finger painting with none of the mess, so what's not to like?  
Let's gather our supplies:
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 cups cold water

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove it from the heat and keep stirring for another minute. Divide the mixture into the desired number of bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl and allow to cool. 
Put into zip top bags and squeeze all the air out before closing. Seal well with duct tape, making sure the edges of the tape go past the edges of the bag (see picture above). It may just be that I bought cheap bags (I got them at the dollar store, so I know they were not high quality), but ours came unzipped more than once. It wasn't a problem because I had made sure we had a really good seal with the duct tape, but it could have been really messy!
You can just squish these around while sitting in the location of your choice,  place the bag on a hard surface and (depending on your child) tape the sides of the bag to the table top so it can't slide around while they're "finger painting", or hang in a window to enjoy watching the light shine through as you play. Another thought is that this is made out of edible ingredients, and even has a sweet taste (it does have sugar in it), so it might be fun out of the bag for edible finger painting too, but we didn't try that this time around. 
Erik really preferred to just squish it around in his hands.
 That is, he preferred squishing it with his hands until he discovered the joy of stepping on it. Then all he wanted to do was squish the slime between his toes.
 This activity was a really fun one, and we'll definitely be doing it again. One nice thing about it was that the recipe made enough for 2-3 bags, depending on how full you filled them (we did three less-full bags). This meant that I let Erik play with the first bag for a day or two, then switched it our for a fresh one in which the colors weren't all mixed together. This way the fun lasted for a whole week.
By manipulating the bag of slime Erik was strengthening his hand muscles while enjoying the sensation of the squishy bag of slime. We talked a lot about the colors and the texture (squishy) of the material, as well as the temperature (this stuff seemed to stay cooler than the ambient room temperature, so we used it to talk about cold). The vocabulary building benefits of this activity were huge, there are so many more things you could do in that department with this activity! And the best part is that it's mess free!

No comments:

Post a Comment