Gooey Ghouls Messy Play Kit Guide
Ready to dig into your Gooey Ghouls Messy Play Kit? On this page you'll find detailed step-by-step instructions, ideas to extend the learning, and some links to other resources. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about your kit. Now go get messy!
Slime and Eyeballs:
1. Remove the top of the white glue bottle and empty it into a small mixing bowl. Don’t worry if a few drops are left.
2. Cut the tip off of the pipette of “Slime Color” and add it to the bowl of glue, and mix until throughly blended.
3. Add one tablespoon of hot water to the empty glue bottle, replace the cap, and shake. Mix this water into the bowl.
4. Add the liquid starch to the glue slowly, stirring to incorporate it. You may not need the entire bottle. Stop after pouring half of the bottle in, and continue to mix the glue mixture as it starts to become slime.
5. You will need to mix it with your hands. Scrape as much off the mixing spoon and bowl as possible, and continue to add liquid starch slowly until the slime comes together and stops sticking to your hands (about 3/4 - 7/8 of the bottle).
When the slime no longer sticks to your hands, you have the right consistency! It should stretch and droop, but not be sticky. It may look like spaghetti, but if you let it sit in the bowl for a few minutes, it will come together.
6. Add the eyeballs and play with the slime- bend it, stretch it, let it drop but catch it before it hits the floor! If you stretch it out and then quickly bring it back together, you might be able to capture a slime bubble! See if you can hide the eyeballs in the slime!
TIP: Slime is washable from clothing, although it will stick to it like crazy. It is also washable from carpet but requires a bit of scrubbing, so your best bet is to play with this over wood or tile floors, or outside!
What are they learning?
- Fine motor control: Squeezing pipettes, unscrewing caps, pouring and mixing are great for strengthening fine motor control and building self-help skills.
- Patience (social-emotional skills): Children develop patience as they wait for the slime to come together- you sometimes have to let it sit for a few minutes in order for it to form properly.
- Hand-eye coordination: They have to aim to pour the materials into the bowl without missing. They also will be stretching the slime but trying not to let it fall on the table or ground, which takes quite a bit of coordination!
- Pretend play: Once they add the eyeballs, the slime becomes an imaginary monster. They can squish and destroy the monster as much as they need to in order to feel safe, and you may even notice a story line emerge as they play!
Monster: Build and Destroy:
1. Empty the three small bags of flour into 3 separate bowls.
2. Cut the tips off the pipettes of monster colors, and add one color to each bowl. Add 1/3 cup of water to each and mix thoroughly.
3. Cover a baking tray with the included foil.
4. Dip one cotton ball at a time into the colored flour mixture, then arrange on the foil. Create a design of your choice- a monster with eyeballs, antennae, a snout, a face- the choice is yours!
|TIP: If children have a hard time designing their monster, encourage them to draw a picture of what they want before.|
5. Bake at 200 degrees F for 30-45 minutes. The flour mixture should be completely hardened on the cotton balls.
6. Remove from oven and let cool.
7. When they are cool, remove the monster, place on a hard surface (the ground outside is perfect!), and destroy! Try jumping on it, or pulling it apart with your hands. Be careful, as the flour part has hardened and may be sharp. Also notice how the cotton balls are still soft and fluffy on the inside- what an interesting juxtaposition.
What are they learning?
- Creative Representation and Pretend Play: This activity is great for creativity! Children often have a hard time distinguishing between reality and fantasy, which can make the idea of monsters really scary. In this activity, they get to create their own monster, as scary as they want, and then destroy it, which helps them feel powerful and in control. These feelings are important for young children, who often feel powerless in their adult-driven lives.
- Fine Motor Control and Self-Help Skills: When they pour and mix the ingredients, cover the cotton balls, and shape their creature.
- Basic Science (baking, chemical reactions): When they discover that their wet flour mixture has turned into something hard in the oven, you can guide an interesting discussion about the properties of flour and how it hardens (like it does when baking).
Paper Mache Ghost:
1. Have an adult blow up one balloon and place on top of something round to hold it- a roll of masking tape, a bowl. Use the paper dropcloth to protect the workspace under the balloon.
2. Empty the large bag of flour into a bowl, add the contents of the pipette of white glue, add 1 cup of warm water and mix throughly.
3. Open the bag of white tissue paper and set aside half the pieces.
4. Use the glue paste to cover the balloon with tissue paper. You can try this a few different ways- cut the tissue paper into strips, or leave in larger pieces. Scoop and spread some paste directly on the balloon, layer the tissue paper on top, and cover with more paste.
5. Continue until the balloon is covered, leaving the bottom part open. Drape the tissue paper over the top and sides of the balloon and hang it off the bottom so it creates the shape of a floating ghost.
6. Cut a face using the black paper and use the paste to secure it in place on the balloon.
7. Once you’ve used this half of the tissue paper, set the ghost aside and let the layers dry thoroughly, which may take overnight. Repeat with the other balloon, tissue paper and black paper.
8. Once they are totally dry, pop the balloons carefully and discard the balloon pieces. You now have a ghost!
9. Cut a small hole in the top and tie the string on (cut in two to hang both ghosts), and hang from the ceiling!
What are they learning?
- Memory and Story-Telling Skills: When they proudly recount how they made the ghost to friends and family, they will have to remember the chronological order of the steps as well as the details.
- Fine Motor Control: Once again, children are developing fine motor coordination as they mix the flour paste, squeeze the pipette of glue, and decorate the balloon.
- Creative Representation: They get to be creative as they choose what the ghost will look like- the shape of the body, the pieces used for the face.
- Patience/Impulse Control: They have to be patient while waiting for the ghost to dry.
- They can practice telling stories as they recount proudly how they made the ghost to everyone they show it to later (remembering each step can be hard!).
More Ghouls, Ghosts and Monster Play!
There are so many ways to continue the monster play. Here are some of my favorites.
- Make a Halloween piñata! Use the technique from the paper mache ghost above, but cover the balloon completely. Once it's dry, cut a small hole in the bottom, remove the balloon pieces, and fill with candy (or Halloween treats of your choice!). Secure the hole using tape and hang securely from a branch outside. You now have a piñata to break open and collect the goodies inside! Try making other designs too- a pumpkin piñata, or a witch... the ideas are endless!
- Decorate a pumpkin together. For young children, there are lots of choices for decorating pumpkins without using sharp cutting tools- you can paint on the pumpkin, use stickers, or have your child design something you can cut out. Let them help scoop out the pumpkin too- they will feel more involved in the process, have more ownership over the final result, and it's great fine motor development and sensory play!
- Don't forget to toast the pumpkin seeds! Here's a great recipe from the blog "Oh She Glows." You can also season them with cinnamon sugar, sea salt, or other fun options too!
- There are lots of other baking options too. Cooking with young children is great for their development- so many physical skills required plus patience, following directions, basic science and math skills, and so much more! This article from PBS.org gives some great simple tips for cooking safely with children, and this article from Kids Health goes a bit more in depth. For more information about the benefits of cooking with children, see Early Childhood News or Web MD. I know I'm planning on making pumpkin muffins with my toddler class soon- find your own delicious recipe and enjoy!