Scientific Fun for Everyone
- What: Gloop recipe
- When: 3 years and up
- Why: Simple, easy, fun
- Where: In your home
If you need entertainment in a pinch, and don’t have your own copy of 50 Science Projects for Kids, use this recipe to make this slimy solidifying substance.
- 1 cup cornstarch
- ½ cup water
- 1 drop food coloring (optional)
Mix the cornstarch and water in a bowl you don’t want to use again for at least a few days. Better yet, get your kids to do the stirring. It can be difficult at first, since the mixture hardens at low moisture levels, but once you get the right consistency you won’t need the recipe again. You, too, will be able to dump cornstarch into a bowl and add water until it feels right.
This stuff will slide off a spoon or any other tool you’re willing to hand over, but hold its shape when you apply pressure. Gloop fascinates kids of all ages, and it makes a great quiet activity if you have kids napping, or just need to knock the noise level down a notch or two. I find one cup of cornstarch makes plenty, and if you cover it once the kids finish playing, you can use it several days in a row.
I also love the cleanup. Despite the fact that gloop drips everywhere, it washes right off kids and clothes. (Watch out for the food dye, though, if you choose to color it.) The drops harden and can be swept off with a hand like crumbs, unlike Play Doh.
Hands down, we’ve used this recipe the most from our project book, and I’ve yet to meet a kid who doesn’t find it enthralling even if they won’t actually touch it. Toss in a spoon and a measuring cup or two, and you’ve got all the ingredients in your kitchen for this fun project. And if you want to go the extra mile, you can explain the science behind it.
Because cornstarch particles don’t dissolve in water but do spread out, allowing the mixture to act like both a solid when under pressure and a liquid when allowed to expand.
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