Just in time for Halloween, we can talk about SLIME.
If you participated in the 2014 Collaborative Summer Reading Program, you are well aware that EVERYTHING this year was about SCIENCE. Which is wonderful, if you have the money to bring in paid performers for every program, or have the resources to find people who actually know science things that tweens and teens want to do on a regular basis. Myself, I lean more towards science and math than social studies and foreign languages, but trying to fit that into a summer reading program with restrictions can be daunting, at a minimum. So, I turned to Pinterest to start collecting ideas.
Lots of librarians and teachers use Pinterest to collect ideas for various topics– already there are those (like me) who are collecting ideas for the 2015 Collaborative Summer Reading Theme (Heroes, BTW). Looking around at what others were thinking, I collected a board for science things, and started following others. One idea that I KNEW my kids would love would be to make GAK. One of the ones that I kept seeing repeated was a recipe from Lil’ Luna’s Blog. Hers turns out bright vibrant green, and squishy perfect. Almost like silly putty but better. So, armed with my list and multiplied out for the number of tweens I was planning to have, I went to a big box store.
And couldn’t find borax.
Then I went to another big box store. And couldn’t find borax.
Another store. And another. And another. No borax.
I know it’s here somewhere, because my co-worker Karen, who blogs at Teen Librarian Toolbox, was able to get some. I could order it online as well. But by this time, I was frustrated, my Irish was up, and I decided I would find another way to make this program work.
So I did a little research, and discovered that with cornstarch and water, you can make CORNSTARCH SLIME. There are tons of ways to do it, but for my program I demonstrated it once, and then let the kids go at it. My materials were:
- cornstarch ($0.99/box)
- water (free- I refilled a jug from the water fountain to control the mess)
- butcher paper to cover the tables (already had on hand)
- plastic cups ($2.99 for 24 sixteen ounce cups)
- craft sticks (already had on hand)
- multipurpose mini-cups with lids, 2.0 ounces ($2.40 for 50, for the kids to take home slime)
- food coloring ($4.00 for eight different colors)
I explained that for mine, I had a ratio of 2 parts cornstarch to one part water, and mixed it with the craft stick. Walked around the room, I showed each tween how by stirring it the slime would ooze and move, but just shoving the stick straight in it was extremely hard to move. Then I supervised their first batch of slime, walking around and helping them measure out their cornstarch, pouring the water, and having them stir and explore everything. We added colors and looked at how it swirled, and how many drops it took to make the color they wanted.
And then, I put on a movie that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year about a team of paranormal investigators saving the city of New York from ghosts, and let them have at it. They had a ball- we had purple slime, blue slime, moon dust, gak- everything you could possibly imagine. They made all sorts of different concoctions, and just loved being able to experiment!