Monster Slime: Marvelously Messy Sensory Play

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Sensory Play is an essential part of early childhood learning and getting messy is one great way to involve all of the senses-enter EDIBLE MONSTER SLIME!

Spending time stimulating their senses helps children develop cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally, physically and creatively.

PBS Parents Website

There a tons of Edible Slime Recipes online, but really it just needs to be green and goopy. The edible part is pretty important here because my 20 month old will be joining in the fun and he can’t help but use his sense of taste!  I had planned on making the Chia Slime recipe on the link above, but when I got to the store and realized that Xantham Gum was $13 for a small container I decided a less slime like recipe with cornstarch would be just fine.

On Chia Seeds:
I feel like the Chia Seeds I’ve been using in my cookies, oatmeal, and cereal have been keeping a secret from me. In addition to having manifold health benefits, these tiny seeds turn into fabulously slimy little tapioca-esque beads.

No-Cook Edible Chia Seed Slime Recipe:
Baby Spiders
1/2 cup Chia Seeds mixed with 1 cup of warm water and allowed to “grow” for at least an hour
Monster Boogers
1/2 cup corn starch mixed with green food coloring and between 2 tbsp and 1/4 cup of water. Just play with the ratio until the mixture is thick enough to pick.

I had the boys “pick the monster boogers” and put them into the baby spider brew –classy I know.

Then I went to the kitchen and pulled out anything edible that looked remotely ewwy, gooey, creepy, or crawly.

Add-ins:
-Frozen Peas “Frozen Bugs”-these are so great for sensory contrast of hot/cold
-Green sprinkles
-Karo Syrup –this really invited their sense of taste
-Lentils

Utensils:
Having an assortment of cups, bowls, spoons, and whisks allows little ones to experiment with moving the slime from one place to another.

¡WARNING!
Do not do this inside unless you want a seriously impossible mess to clean up.
I recommend any location where you can clean up by simply hosing everything-including the kids-down after you’re all done. The food coloring I used even stained their hands a bit and took some scrubbing to get off, but we had fun 🙂

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Color Sorting + Scissor Skills= Geometric Art Project

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We’ve been working on sorting and scissor skills this week. So, Saturday is a great day to bring the two skills together in this super simple Geometric Art project.  Check out the posts Sorting by Color and Rocking Your Kid’s World and While Baby Brother Was Napping… the scissors came out from earlier in the week

Materials:
Safety scissors
3-5 colors of construction paper (child’s choice is best)
Glue (I recommend the liquid glue to sticks for the 3+ kids because the squeezing motion is great for developing their finger strength and fine motor skills, but a glue stick will get the job done if that’s all you have)
Markers the same color as the paper
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Objectives:
Child will be able to identify colors
Child will be able to recognize color words
Child will be able to sort objects by a single attribute (color)
Child will be able to use scissors to cut paper with adult assistance

A note on objectives: these are variations on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and are likely very similar to objectives for prek in most states. The expectation is not that the child will master the objective after just one lesson, but rather that they are simply working towards mastery over time

Lesson:
Super simple stuff here-just let your kiddo choose 3-5 colors of construction paper, help them cut it with safety scissors, divide paper into geometric quadrants using matching colored markers, help them glue their paper pieces onto the corresponding quadrants,  and then hang it up for all to see.

Tips:
1. Have two pairs of scissors – one for you and one for them. This way you can show them how to cut.
2. Hold and move the paper for them at first so they can focus on learning the open and closing motion of snipping.
3. Keep it easy and positive. This is a super challenge skill for little ones to master. So, don’t try to make any specific shapes at first,  and focus on their effort more than the accuracy of their cutting.

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