Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Jozi WAHM's Guide to Making Gloopy Goo

This is another fun sensory activity that I came across looking for fun, educational activities that would be suitable for both a four year old and a one year old.

Making the goo is incredibly simple and only requires cornflour (maizena), water and food colouring (optional). This is how it is made:
  1. Place one cup of hot water in a bowl.
  2. I added the food colouring at the end but it was incredibly hard to stir so I would recommend adding it at this point instead. A drop or two is enough. I used green gel food colouring.
  3. Add about two cups of maizena to the water, a little at a time, stirring gently as you go along.You might need a little more or less than this. It will become quite stiff and difficult to stir. 
1. Left: The maizena (cornflour) used to make the goo. Right: Maizena and water mixture. 
Once ready, this mixture takes on amazing properties. It looks liquid, but is solid on touching as force causes its viscosity to change. . If pressed it becomes rock hard, while it becomes liquid again if left alone.

I figured that the science behind non-Newtonian fluids was likely to go straight over the heads of my little ones, but they enjoyed practically testing the amazing properties of this mixture. They enjoyed watching the results as they poked and prodded, turned the mixture upside down (it looks runny but does not move) and squeezed it between their hands. This kept them busy for ages! It did seem to dry out after a while though.

With older children, a physics lesson can be incorporated into the activity.

Warning 1:

This is really messy. I did this outside to minimise the cleaning afterwards. Nevertheless, I had two filthy kids by the end of it. No surprise, Squish ate some of it, but called it quits when he realised it was not particularly pleasant tasting. 

Warning 2:

Do not throw this mixture down the drain as it will cause blockages. Rather dispose of it in he dustbin. Apparently it can be stored in a Ziplock bag for later use, but my mixture was full of grass and toddler drool so I opted to throw it out.

Noodle and Squish getting their hands dirty