Friday, July 18, 2014

Recipes for Fun: Cornstarch Feelies and Clean Mud

Ok, so a few days ago, I gave you an ah-mazing recipe for make-your-own-amazing-bubbles.

So they weren’t really called that but they totally could be.

Here’s the link in case you missed it.

And now I have a couple other recipes (recipes for FUN, as it were) that your kiddos might also enjoy at home.

Or you might. I totally won’t judge you if you choose to make these for yourself.

Perhaps you are in the middle of a class on “Play Therapy” and this might be just the thing you’re looking for (and yes, I’m thinking of you, KG).

So I think the name on this first thing is HORRIBLE…it sounds like something crawled out of the swamp and killed a whole town.

And now that I have completely shaded your opinion, I shall tell you what they are called: cornstarch feelies. I think it has to do with the “feelies” part of the name that makes it sound “monster-like”.

But maybe that’s just me.

The other name by which is goes is oobleck…which is only marginally better (in my opinion), but still not an awesome name…for different reasons.

But it is my preferred name so from henceforth it shall be referred to as “oobleck”.

Regardless of what you call it, this stuff is cool.

Cool beans, man.

Yeah…I went there…it popped into my head and I said it. All the cool kids say it, right?

Don’t judge.

Anyway… oobleck is great for hours of entertainment with your child.

Unless, of course, he or she has major sensory issues. He or she may freak out if presented with this.

You know your child best and you be the judge. At this moment, I absolve myself of any guilt, lest your child has a freak-out about the texture of this stuff.

I’m really selling it, right?

But if your child DOES happen to like it, in addition to being hours of entertainment, this stuff is cheap to make.

And easy. Even I can do it.

As an interesting aside, there’s this other common preschool classroom sensory staple called “goop”. I could NEVER get it to come out right. It’s not difficult at all, but I always had to have my friend Jessica make it for my classroom.

I had to endure tireless mocking from my other preschool teachers (ok not really…just Jessica) because I failed at making goop. Repeatedly failed…not just once, people.

All that to say, this stuff is WAY easier.

It requires two ingredients: water and corn starch.

Take a box of corn starch and empty it into a bowl. Slowly add water, a little bit at a time and mix (preferably with your hand…because quite frankly it is the easiest way).

NOTE: If you add too much water, you will end up with cornstarch soup…which I don’t personally think would be very tasty. Or very fun to play with.

When you begin, it will look like you’re making paste. But eventually it will pull away from the walls of the bowl.

And you’ll know when you’ve arrived. You can trust me on that...have I ever steered you wrong? I mean when it really mattered?

(What movie is that from?)

A couple other things to note…it will keep if you leave it UNCOVERED for about a week. It may need a little bit of water if it sits out for a little bit (look at that, you can teach evaporation to your child in this science lesson too…I’m just here to help). And if you cover it, it will mold.

And while it would be an opportunity for a different science lesson entirely, you might not really want that. I don’t know why it molds…I just know what I am told. “Don’t shoot the messenger.”

We had a 50% enjoyment rate: 6 of the kids dove right in and played for a good long while, and the other 6 children refused to touch it.

One other thing to note…the more cornstarch you use, the more oobleck it makes. By just using one box, it will be enough for 2-3 kiddos at most.

Now, the OTHER thing I must share is called “clean mud”…and the recipe for it is almost as nebulous as the oobleck.

Well, I totally take that back; actually, it is MORE nebulous than the oobleck, if you can imagine that.

This recipe is basically: mix the three ingredients together until it “looks right” and tah-dah! Clean mud!
So…this requires some water, grated Ivory soap and (clean…this should be obvious, but just in case it is not…I mean, I’m thrifty but even I am not THAT thrifty) toilet paper.

You might recognize this photo is you follow me on Instagram...this is (clearly) the grated Ivory soap
I volunteered to grate the soap ahead of time because I already have a grater designated for soap grating.
Yes, you read that correctly.

Don’t judge.

It’s the same one I use when I make my own laundry detergent…although the Ivory soap is much easier to grate than the Fels-Naptha in the detergent.

But I digress.

So for this recipe, pour some water in a large bowl. Put in some grated Ivory soap (3-4 bars-worth maybe) and add in some toilet paper. Mix well and keep adding soap and TP until it just “seems right”.

I don’t know how else to explain it. Maybe like this: Mix until your child seems entertained by its consistency and then stop.

You can save it for a few days, but (like with the oobleck) you will need to reconstitute it with some water.

Again, it shall be noted, that we had a 50% interest rate with this: only 6 of our 12 kiddos would touch it.

At least they’re consistent in their sensory issues, right?

OK…I’m really just rambling now so I’m going to wrap it up. But please please please please let me know if you actually make this stuff and what was the reaction in your house?

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