Mighty Mommy shares three fun and creative crafts that encourage a tactile learning experience that can benefit your child.
Arts and crafts have always been a staple in our house. My 8 kids, at one time or another, have gone through many stages where creativity and all things glue and glitter took center stage over any other toys or items on their play time agenda. In fact, three of my children who were severely speech-delayed thrived when they were able to get lost in a great hands-on project.
Preschoolers learn through their five senses. The senses of touch, sight, smell, taste, and hearing are how young children explore the world around them. For toddlers and preschoolers, everything is new so experiencing new activities that are not part of their normal routines can be fascinating to them.
For most children, simply engaging in everyday play activities that allow for exploration, touch, and movement allows for healthy development of the tactile sense and as parents it is our job to help them explore their senses by providing appropriate activities for sensory play and learning.
Angie Dorrell, a NAEYC accreditation validator and former commissioner, puts this in perspective when she explains in an article titled Developing and Cultivating Skills Through Sensory Play “Imagine trying to teach a group of four-year-olds about melting without allowing them to hold an ice cube as it melts in their hands or to watch cheese on bread in the microwave. As a grownup, imagine learning how to use a computer without actually sitting in front of a computer!” Ultimately and without a doubt, we need to experience certain properties with our own senses in order to comprehend and communicate important properties.
Mighty Mommy agrees wholeheartedly with Ms. Dorrell and has personally experienced the benefits of engaging kids in gooey, glittery activities over the years. Here are three tried and true favorites that her children still enjoy today.
#1. Ultimate Fluffy Slime
My 11-year old daughter has been concocting various versions of this very easy and fun to make ultimate fluffy slime for months now. In fact, she’s gotten so good at making it that she’s sold it at local craft fairs and within our community. There’s a wonderful DIY video on You Tube you can check out here. Ultimate Fluffy Slime
Here are the ingredients and step by step instructions:
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) school glue
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) shaving cream
Slightly more than 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch
1 cup (240 ml) hot water
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) foaming body wash, or foaming soap (optional)
Food coloring (optional)
- Start off by making the borax solution. Take 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) of borax powder and add it into 1 cup (240 ml) of hot water. Mix it until it's thoroughly dissolved and set aside for later use.
- Pour ½ cup (120 ml) of glue into a separate bowl.
- Add ½ cup (120 ml) of shaving cream into the same bowl as the glue.
- Add ½ cup (120 ml) of foaming body wash or soap (optional). Adding the foaming body wash or soap can make the slime fluffier, but it's okay to forgo this step.
- Mix until there are no lumps. The substance should have a thick and fluffy texture, similar to marshmallow cream.
- Add in slightly more than 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of cornstarch. The cornstarch helps to thicken the slime and allows it to retain its shape.
- The cornstarch isn't necessary for the recipe, but leaving it out will result in a thinner slime that won't hold its shape so much. Mix thoroughly, but carefully. (Cornstarch is easy to spill.)
- Add lotion to your slime. To make your slime stretchier, add in two pumps of hand lotion to your slime. It's okay to skip this step if you don't want to add it at the moment - it can always be added later.
- Add in food coloring. Too much of some kinds of food coloring can stain your hands or other surfaces, so if it's a potent one, start with just two drops. Mix it well until there are no more white streaks.
- Add 3 teaspoons of the borax mixture to your slime. Stir thoroughly, then continue adding the borax mixture 1-3 teaspoons at a time until the slime is at the consistency you’d like it to be.
- You will likely not use all of your borax mixture! It is important to not add too much of it or your slime will harden and break. The original recipe only uses 6-9 teaspoons (44 ml) of the borax solution.
- Knead the slime. Once the slime has clumped into a ball and is easy to remove from the bowl, place it on a flat surface and begin kneading it with your hands to thoroughly mix it.
- If the slime is still too sticky, add about 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) of the borax mixture and carefully knead it in.
- Rub lotion into your slime for a stretchier slime. If your slime is fluffy, but not very stretchy, add a few pumps of lotion into your slime, rub it into the slime, and then knead it again. Repeat until your slime is as stretchy as you want it to be.
- It can take up to 16 extra pumps of lotion to reach the desired stretchiness, so don’t hesitate to be generous!
Now it's playtime. This slime is stretchy, squishy, and fun to play with - it's great for keeping your hands busy!