Admit it. Unless you have OCD, everyone likes to get a little dirty now and then! I find that the messier the activity is, the more fun the grandgirls have, the longer they play it, and the more they ask to do it again!. I always make sure that it’s a good mental health day for me and then we go for it.
Here are some of the girls favorite messy things to do. These are great activities to use talk about textures, how things feel, etc.
Ooey Gooey Science Recipes
- Oobleck - Mix 2 parts cornstarch and 1 part water. This makes a very unusual texture that the girls love. Even though the entire dining room turns white, it is easy to clean as it dries. No other tools are necessary just Oobleck and little hands.
- Homemade Silly Putty - Mix 1 part Elmer’s white glue and 1 part liquid starch together. Save the Sunday comics to make impressions of favorite cartoon characters.
- Slime - Start with an 8 ounce bottle of Elmer’s glue squirt it into a glass bowl. Fill the empty glue bottle with warm water and shake, pour the water into the bowl with the glue and mix. Then dissolve 1 teaspoon of Borax powered laundry soap (found in the laundry isle at the grocery store) into ½ cup of warm water. Add slowly to the glue mixture until it is the consistency that you want. You can add a couple drops of food coloring.
- Finger Prints - Use Elmer’s white glue to make hand and fingerprint impressions. Spread a thin layer of glue on finger tips and palms, let dry. You can use a hair dryer on “air” or a room fan to speed up the drying process. Then carefully peel the glue off. A quick web search turns this into a great science activity about the forensics of finger prints.
- Paper Mache – Stir together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat while continuously stirring until the mixture starts to thicken and becomes translucent. Let cool to room temperature. Dip strips of newspaper or tissue paper in the mixture and then layer onto balloons or forms made out of foil. This is a great multi-day activity. After the figure dries, then comes the painting!
- Indoor Snow Sculpting – Mix 1 part Elmer’s glue and 1 part shaving cream (not gel). Spread on black or other dark colored paper.
My daughter Emily never liked getting her hands sticky or messy. If your little one doesn’t like to get sticky but they still want to participate, just use plastic disposable gloves. You can tape around the wrists and fingers to make them fit.