No matter what recipe you use, or what you call it, slime messy play is great for fun and learning. It appeals to kids of various ages and stages, past the everything-in-the-mouth stage, that is.
Slime is a messy play activity that can be contained in a fairly small area, but you need to watch it. Slime will spread out all over and keep going. After discovering that slime would drip right over the edge of the counter, Big Sister noticed it made a long string right down to the floor. She wondered how long a string it could make so she stood on a chair and let some drip from her hand. Sure enough, it made a string that far too. I wanted to stand on a chair and see if the slime would make an even longer string without breaking, but I waited until the kids were not in the kitchen. By the way, it did.
Another time, we read about blowing bubbles with slime. That sounded really cool but how can slime make bubbles? It’s much thicker than soapy water. This took a few tries but it does indeed work! Once a bubble is started, it grows just holding it. Basically, you stick a straw into a bunch of slime and blow. The bubble doesn’t pop like gum but starts to get holes and collapse.
Little Sister likes to pretend she is cooking with slime. She fills a few toy pots and pans with slime and then ‘cooks’ it. Sometimes, a batch of slime will be thicker than other ones, so it can be rolled and molded.
Slime has almost unlimited opportunities for creative play. There is no right or wrong way to play with slime, so children are free to explore and create. The sense of touch is highly activated and the sense of freedom is also stimulated. Does your child enjoy slime messy play?
Science has some magic formulas: science and slime equals fun for kids. You don’t need to be a scientist to take advantage of it, either. Parents and caregivers can mix up a batch of slime and, at the same time, mix up some exciting learning.
There are many recipes for slime available. Here’s one I’ve used several times:
To make slime, you will need 2 bowls or other containers. I used glass measuring cups. In one, 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 cup of white glue. Sometimes, getting the glue to mix with the water is easier than others. For some reason today, I had to use a little whip to get out the clumps. In the second, mix 1 teaspoon of borax and 1 cup of warm water. A few drops of food coloring can be added to either solution.
Now comes the fun part. Dump the glue-water solution into the borax-water solution and immediately the slime or polymer forms. Drain off the extra water and squeeze the slime all together. It looks like it will be wet and gloopy but it is like a very stretchy plastic.
Young kids won’t get the details of the chemistry but they notice how slime is very different from play dough. Slime feels cool and slippery but fingers and hands don’t get wet. Slime can be rolled up and squished but it also spreads out in a puddle or stretches really far. Fingers can poke and the holes and bumps will disappear.
We can ask children simple questions like, “What is the slime doing?” or, “Is this like your play dough?” This encourages kids to notice what is happening and make their own observations. Slime is very sensory and as kids play, they are also exploring their sense of touch. (Note: Although Borax is common and has many household uses, it can be harmful, so adult supervision is needed.)
Kids of any age can play with both science and slime. Do you remember playing with it? Has your child had fun with slime?
This month will feature lots more science fun with kids blog posts.
Since we just made some white play dough for winter fun last week, we tried some slime this week and colored it pink for Valentine’s. It makes itself from 3 simple ingredients.
To make slime, you will need 2 bowls or other containers. I used glass measuring cups. In one, 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 cup of white glue. Sometimes, getting the glue to mix with the water is easier than others. For some reason today, I had to use a little whip to get out the clumps. In the second, mix 1 teaspoon of borax and 1 cup of warm water. A few drops of food coloring can be added to either solution. Now comes the fun part. Dump the glue-water solution into the borax-water solution and immediately the slime or polymer forms. Drain off the extra water and squeeze the slime all together. It looks like it will be wet and gloopy but it is like a very stretchy plastic.
Little Sister patted the ball of and made a handprint. It stayed for a little bit then smoothed out. She stretched it out and rolled it. Slime, like play dough, is easy to cut and there’s no worry about cutting on the line. After rolling it out with a rolling pin, she folded it up and put it into a pan. In only a minute or two, the slime spread out and dripped over the edges so she problem solved and put some in another container.
Slime has a different texture from play dough. It feels cool and slippery. Slime doesn’t keep it’s shape the way play dough does, so it can’t be used for making items the same way. Kids seem to figure this out as they play. They can roll it out flat and use cookie cutters but the shape soon turns into a puddle.
The rolling, patting, cutting, and other actions help to strengthen the small muscles and fine motor skills. Slime also encourages concentration and problem solving and sensory stimulation. For a play-of-the-day, would your child enjoy some time with Slime?
Fingers, hands, and brains can get too busy with holiday excitement, so playing with slime can help kids release tension, explore the sense of touch, and develop some kindergarten readiness too. It is surprisingly easy to make and an intriguing change from regular playdough. To make slime needs 2 bowls. In the first bowl mix … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Sensory Fun with Christmas Slime→
What is as hands-on as carving a jack-o-lantern, helps develop many of the same kindergarten readiness skills, is still lots of fun but with less clean-up? Playing with SLIME. Although slime is great any time of year, it takes on special meaning at Halloween. Slime is also known as Flubber and there are many recipes, … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Halloween Learning & Fun – SLIME→