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Rainy day activities for kids.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

April showers bring May flowers!  We all know that, so why is it May and still raining?  Are your kids getting bored?  Have they heard you say, “Go read a book,” one too many times?

Here’s an idea for a day when you’re stuck in the house that, believe it or not, will provide wonderful lessons in science, math, and reading that your kids will love.

First present the kids with a menu choice – Gunk, Flubber, Slime, Goop or play dough.  That should get their attention.  Together make a selection.  Depending on their age and the recipe they select (see below), you may need to provide more or less guidance. Then, discuss the chosen recipe and gather all of the ingredients and materials needed.

This is the fun (and educational) part.  Encourage the older kids to figure out how to double or triple the recipe (math).  Have them make predictions and record what happens as everything is blended together (science).  Ask them to review and repeat the instructions for accuracy (reading).  Also, you may encourage your bakers to talk about where and when they’ve heard of Gunk, Flubber, Goop, or Slime in books, on TV, or in the movies, and have them write their own list of how they plan to play with it (bonus: comprehension).

Gunk 

Ingredients:

  • 1 part cornstarch
  • 1 part water
  • tempera or food color

Directions:

  1. Combine cornstarch, water and, if desired, food color or tempera paint.
  2. Mix well!
  3. Can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.


Flubber 

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons Borax
  • 1 cup Elmers glue
  • food coloring

Directions:

  1. In a bowl combine ¾ cups of warm water with 1 cup of glue.  Add food coloring and mix well.
  2. In a second bowl add 2 tsp Borax to ½ cup warm water. Mix well.
  3. Pour the Borax mixture into the glue mixture.  Using your hands, lift out the Flubber and let the excess liquid drip off.  Work the Flubber for a minute or two.
  4. Can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  5. Discard Flubber in a trash can.  Do not wash it down the sink.


Slime 

Ingredients:

  • Borax powder
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 4 ounce bottle school glue gel
  • food coloring

Directions:

  1. Make a saturated Borax Solution by stiring Borax into a half cup of hot water until it stops dissolving.
  2. Mix the 4 ounce bottle of glue gel into 1 cup of water.
  3. Add food coloring to the glue solution.
  4. Pour 1/3 cup of the Borax solution into the glue mixture and mix well.
  5. Can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.


Goop (or Goo) 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white glue
  • 1 cup liquid starch
  • food coloring (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine the starch and glue, add a few drops of food coloring (optional), in a container and mix well.  Any container will work but a plastic bag makes it easier to work the mixture and you can store it in the bag.
  2. Goop can be stored in the bag or any sealed container in the refrigerator.
  3. Goop can be cleaned from most surfaces with warm water.


Play Dough 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • food coloring (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl add flour, salt and cream of tartar and mix well.
  2. Mix in oil then water.
  3. For all one color play dough add food coloring now.  For multiple colors add in step 6.
  4. Cook over medium heat and stir until ingredients form a ball.
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface.
  6. When dough is cool enough to handle knead like bread dough.  (For multiple colors, divide dough into separate pieces and add food coloring to each piece.)
  7. Knead until dough is no longer sticky and feels like play dough.
  8. Play dough will last for two months if kept in a sealed container and longer if refrigerated.



IMPORTANT FOR PARENTS: Please note that food coloring, although nontoxic, does stain hands, clothing, furniture and other surfaces so take proper precautions.  Also, for the recipes that contain glue, the finished products should not be left on carpeted or upholstered surfaces.  The glue can seep into those surfaces and be difficult to remove.  Finally, keep all of these away from your pets especially the recipes that contain salt since high amounts of salt can be harmful to pets.

To download a PDF of these recipes click here READS – Rainy day activities for kids – recipies

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