On our last visit to the science center, we made a profound discovery. Water mixed with cornstarch is a magical concoction. My little guy sat and played with this newfound discovery for the longest time. He was fascinated! A few days later we tried this at home. I wanted to incorporate some more fun play and learning opportunities for him with this awesome goop (even though it super fun to play with by itself!) The recipe is very simple. We started with 1 and 1/2 cup of cornstarch and 1/2 cup water. Mix the cornstarch and water together slowly with a fork until it comes together. If it is too firm, add a little more water and if it is too runny add a little more cornstarch. If you lift it out of the bowl with the fork, it should run down smoothly. I let my little guy help with the measuring and he had fun pouring the water and cornstarch into the bowl. Then we experimented with food coloring...
I let him choose which colors he wanted to use and let him drop them into the mixture. I originally planned to make seperate batches of red, blue, yellow and green, but he said he wanted to mix all the colors together, so that is what we did. It turned out to be really cool, because the colors just swirled together without really mixing up for a while. He was very excited about the outcome of the decision he made to mix the colors together and so was I!
Eventually the goop did turn brown. My little guy played with it for a while and then decided it looked like quick sand.
Soooo...he ran as quickly as he could into his room and grabbed his octonauts. He played with them in the "quicksand" sinking them and rescuing them. They actually did sink in the goop. He had so much fun with this and he thought of it all on his own!
And, because we can't do any kind of activity without incorporating trucks, we took the goop outside to make a construction site. The goop was starting to harden up a little by this time, but I decided it would be fine for the construction site. We just poured the goop out on the table, but you could use a baking sheet for easier cleanup (the goop cleans up easily with a damp cloth). He had a blast digging, dumping and pushing the goop around with his trucks.
These activities are perfect for practicing fine motor skills and helps them learn cause and effect by moving and manipulating the goop around. Plus it's just plain fun!
Related Play: DIY Snow