By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes – William Shakespeare
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, we LOVE sensory play! So for today’s post I wanted to share a Halloween themed activity that we did earlier this month. I’ve been so excited to get out the gloop (cornflour and water) for Emily for ages but I just never quite braved it. However I remembered I had these plastic creepy crawlies from another activity we did and I thought they would be perfect.
I poured the cornflour into a square baking tin and mixed water and green food colouring gel in a cup. I poured the water in a little bit at a time and mixed until the gloop was the consistency I wanted. There isn’t really an exact science to it, you just have to pour it in and feel for the consistency you want. I will say though because of the nature of the gloop it can be quite hard to mix together.
Emily really enjoyed this Halloween sensory play activity, I’m so glad she did! I knew it would be a messy one so I put the messy mat down first and it made it so easy to clean up after. I put the plastic bugs into the gloop thinking that it would encourage Emily to put her hands in. In reality I think she would have been as happy with a few spoons or no toys at all.
Emily is still really interested in filling and pouring and it was so fun to watch her pour the gloop out of the tray. Because of its solid but liquid consistency (the post name for it is ‘non-newtonian’) the way it pours is really interesting. If you’re interested in the science behind it I’ve done a little research. When you mix cornflour with water, the large cornflour particles remain ‘suspended’ in the liquid. The gloop is thick because of how close together these particles are packed. If you move your finger/spoon/toy through the gloop slowly the cornflour particles have time to move around therefore allowing the gloop to act as a liquid. However, if you put sudden pressure on the gloop such as hitting it or scooping it up and rolling it into a ball, the particles don’t have enough time to move. This means that they stay packed together temporarily and allows to gloop to act like a solid. When you stop rolling the ball of gloop it goes back to its liquid like state and will flow and drip again.
I had a lot of fun playing with this and exploring the gloop with Emily. It was really fun to roll it into balls and place it on her hands. Her little confused face as she watched the balls melt into a liquid was so cute to see. Emmy really enjoyed playing with this Halloween sensory play activity and it is definitely something that I’m going to do again with her.
The clean up for this activity was relatively easy. I had already prepared by putting Emily in some old clothes that were easy to get on and off. I also had a bowl of warm soapy water and a wash cloth waiting on the side for when we were finished so I could clean her down easily. I stripped her down to her vest and put her in her highchair so I could clean and dry her hands and feet easily. I was then able to distract her with a snack whilst I cleaned up the mess on the floor.
To clean the mat I scooped up as much gloop as I could back into the baking tray and then use my wet cloth to wipe the mat down after. I then poured all of the gloop into a ziplock bag and put it in the bin. You should avoid pouring the cornflour and water mix down the plug hole as it can block the pipes.
Have you introduced gloop to your sensory play yet? What would you add to it instead of the plastic creepy crawlies?
Love Laura xx