Tuesday, January 8, 2013

100 (Attempted) Ways to Entertain a Young Toddler, Day 88: Play Foam

Today's activity came from a blog called 
"Play, Create, and Explore." The mom mixed two boxes of corn starch and one container of shaving cream. It produced a large amount of "Fluffy Stuff" for her kids to play with. The made balls out of it for summer "snowballs," and, when her son threw them, they would explode in a powdery poof. 

That sounds like so much fun; doesn't it? With it being winter, it's not exactly prime time to play outside, and I didn't want clouds of fluffy stuff exploding in my home. So, I decided to do her project but made it much wetter (I used less cornstarch). The result was a fun foam that could be molded into towers. It reminded me of some of the images I've seen on Pinterest of "moon sand" (sand, corn starch, and water) and "cloud dough" (flour and baby oil). It also reminds me of the non-Newtonian fluid science activity we did a few months ago.

I didn't need to make much. This is how much shaving cream, corn starch, and food coloring I used. If you use food coloring, be careful because it could stain.

At first, Oliver wanted to eat it. I told him no, and he started to cry. Jo saw him crying and decided to join in. She also seemed to be afraid of our play foam. She wouldn't touch it.

After a few minutes (when I told them I was just going to clean it up), Oliver finally decided to start playing with the foam. He loved smashing it!

What's this?

Then, he discovered he could mold it:

It felt really soft and squishy. I kept squishing some, too.

Clean up wasn't too bad. I plopped the kids in the tub. After they were clean, we went back to the kitchen and cleaned the table. The foam had dried and left behind powder. I just had to wipe, and off it went! We didn't have a problem with staining on our table, but I probably should have tested it first to be safe.

I'm not sure what to grade this activity. Oliver loved it, but Joanna hated it. Later, during clean up, she accidentally got some on her finger and freaked out. That's not her personality at all! I'm going to give it a B- because it was really easy to set up and clean and made for nearly an hour of fun for Oliver. Even if your child hates it as much as Jo (unlikely), at least you didn't waste much time or resources. Our version was really good for an indoor activity, but I really look forward to this summer when we can make a big batch and form summer snowballs!


Kate S said...

Haven't tried this recipe yet- thanks for sharing it!

Today it's freezing here so we're stuck inside and of course the kiddos have SO MUCH ENERGY. Just collected every pillow in the house (throw pillows, bed pillows, couch cushions, EVERYTHING) and made pillow mountain in the middle of our living room. My nearly 3 year old and 16 month old have been going at it for over a half hour. Climbing, rolling down it, tearing it apart and rebuilding it. Now it's a boat and they're trying not to fall into the water.

2 minutes of prep time and maybe 5 minutes of clean up for what will probably be a straight 45 minutes of play (at least!)

whirledpeas1129 said...

We've done a pillow mountain, too! Oliver is really into pillow forts these days. We built them on the bed and then "attack" the fort with stuffed animals. It cracks him up. Pillows are good play tools!

Miss Debra said...

You could make this safe to eat by using cool whip or marsh mellow fluff. Both can be colored as well. Fluff is pretty messy but we've done this with cool whip and cleanup is a snap.