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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Messy Backyard Fun Day: Goop and Volcanoes

As summer pushes on, I continue to struggle with getting the kids outside to play since they would rather be inside building with Legos. My solution? Messy Backyard Fun Day (Or two. Or three.) If you read yesterday's post, you know that we had fun using shaving cream with cars and made a Toy Car Wash and then some Marbled Paper.

We also had fun making Goop and making Volcanoes...

To make Goop, you'll need:

  • cornstarch
  • water
  • food coloring
  • mixing bowl
  • plastic spoon
  • tablecloth for your work area

We poured half the box of cornstarch into the bowl, and added a little water at a time. The ratio is about two parts cornstarch to one part water. We also added a few drops of green food coloring (both of my boys' favorite color) and started stirring.
At first I thought we added too much water since it still looked very liquid. But then I scooped some up with a spoon and found that it would break into chunks with solid edges. And then ooze right back down into itself, just like a liquid.
See? Right back into a liquid.
Goop is definitely a bizarre substance. You can push your finger into it and it feels solid, until your finger starts sinking into it. It drips like a liquid, but pools into a solid. It's crazy stuff!!! The kids had fun testing which objects would sink into it. You can try a coin, flower, crayon, leaf, and anything else you can find that's age appropriate. Please just be sure that your kids don't eat the Goop; this is NOT a food recipe.

Once the novelty of the Goop wore off, we moved on to Volcanoes. You'll need:
  • vinegar (we used almost a whole gallon)
  • baking soda (we used 1 1/2 pounds)
  • food coloring
  • tall clear containers, such as the ones used for deli-counter salads
  • small cups (we had some styrofoam cups leftover from a party)

First we sprinkled some baking soda in each tall container. We poured vinegar and a few drops of food coloring into the cups.
Then the fun begins. Let your little mad scientist pour the colored vinegar into the tall container and watch it erupt!
After one round on the table, we quickly moved this activity to the grass because this one is MESSY! Once the reaction stops, you can pour out the liquid; some baking soda will remain at the bottom and can be used again. Simply pour more vinegar and food coloring into the smaller cup, and pour it into the tall container again.
When the baking soda is gone, just add more to the tall container, and keep going with the colored vinegar. The kids had so much fun mixing different colors to see what they would get (yes, you can teach art and science at the same time!), that we ended up erupting volcanoes until we had used up the entire gallon of vinegar!

Even though this was Messy Backyard Fun Day, the mess really wasn't bad at all. Some paper towels and baby wipes helped with the first round of volcanoes, but the rest of the mess stayed in the grass. We ended up keeping the Goop in an airtight container and the bowl washed clean very easily. A quick wipe of the tablecloth, and we were good to go. Clean up really was a snap.

I hope you and your kids have some messy fun this week! Stay tuned for one final Messy Backyard Fun Day adventure with homemade Slime and Fluffy Dough. As always, thanks for reading.

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