Creative Corner — Ooey, Gooey Science Activities

by Guest Contributor

Tara Rison*** Monthly Feature Column ***

October – Ooey, Gooey Science Activities
by Tara Rison.

It is always difficult to believe it is truly fall because here, in Charleston, SC, we are still wearing shorts and t-shirts. However, once I see all of the Halloween costumes, decorations, and candy, I am reminded that fall is upon us. Once my children notice these retail additions, they begin planning, in great detail, about what type of costume they would like to wear, the scarecrow they are going to make, and the treats they would like to bake. AHHH, fall!!!

Determined to enjoy this season, I made a point to plan ahead. So far I am doing well; I have already purchased costumes, decorated my porch, and baked some Halloween cookies. In fact, I am ahead of the game. So, I thought this would be the perfect time to introduce my children to the world of “Ooey, Gooey, Science Experiments”. When I was teaching I loved these activities, almost as much as my students so I know my children will appreciate them, as well.

These experiments are great for young children. Not only are they exciting and fun, but they are also messy! YEAH! It is a lot of fun to see how interested and involved the children become. Just be prepared for some clean up!

OOBLECK

Literature connection – Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss

Items to collect
newspaper
measuring cups
1 cup of dry cornstarch
large bowl or pan
green food coloring
½ cup of water

Directions
1. Cover your table or counter with newspaper.
2. Put the cornstarch into the bowl or pan. Add a few drops of food coloring.
3. Add the water slowly, while mixing.
4. Continue to add water until all of the oobleck feels like a liquid when you’re mixing it.
5. You will know that you have the perfect consistency when you can tap on the surface of the oobleck and it feels like a solid. If it seems too powdery, add a bit more water. If it seems too wet, add more cornstarch.
6. Play and experiment.

Things to talk about
Is Oobleck a liquid or a solid?

What happens when you pick up a handful and squeeze it? What happens when you open your hand?

Making Mud

Literature connection – Mud Puddle by Munsch

Items to collect
Large plastic tub (or Rubbermaid bin)
Bag of potting soil (or gardening dirt)
Pitcher of water
Small plastic animals
Plastic measuring cups, spoons, bowls, etc.
***Wear old clothes. This can be messy!

Directions
1. Fill up your tub/bin with the soil. Have your child feel and observe the soil.
2. Level the dirt and then, using your hand, create some small dents in the surface. These will be used to create mud puddles.
3. Have your child slowly pour the water onto the surface of the soil/dirt. Keep pouring until the soil has absorbed all of the water it can hold.
4. Add a bit more water to the “dents” to create the “mud puddles”. Have your child feel and observe the mud.
5. Allow your child to use the small plastic animals, spoons, and bowls to play in the mud.

Things to talk about
How did the dry soil feel? What did it look like?
How does the mud feel? How does it look different than the dry soil?
Are there any other differences you notice?

I hope you all have fun with these activities. As always, if you have any creative fall ideas to share please email them to me at contact@ittybittybookworm.com I will then post them to my monthly resource page.

For more literature-based activities, order one of The Itty-Bitty Bookworm’s Curriculum Kits or CDs.

October’s CD and CD and Book Set will be 50% off from Sat., Oct. 13 – end of the month.

Read inch by inch,
Tara, Founder
The Itty-Bitty Bookworm



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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer October 13, 2007 at 8:03 pm

How fun sounding! I am going to try this with my girls. I know they would love to get messy.

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2 Georgiana Daniels October 14, 2007 at 11:09 am

This sounds like fun! One of those ideas I need to tuck away until the kids are a wee bit older =)

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3 Shana October 14, 2007 at 3:22 pm

I just went through our books and I found Bartholomew and the Oobleck. I am going to try this out with the boys now and if it goes well I am going to ask their teachers if I can read the book to their classes and make the oobleck with them…FUN FUN!!!!

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4 Holly October 15, 2007 at 9:59 pm

Nice blog! Have enjoyed reading immensely. I have a good friend that lives in Summerville, SC. They attend Summerville Baptist Church. Small world. ~Holly

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5 Maemae January 2, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Very cool Article! I used to love creative science projects when I was a kid. Especially the messy ones! Now its turn into my love for Craft Projects that happen to turn my craft room into a mess! Lol
Maemae

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