This post originally appeared on February 9, 2011.
Okay, this may be a stretch, but ever since Rachelle from Tinkerlab posted her goopy cornstarch I have been trying to work it into a lesson plan. Of course Little M does LOVE a mess. . . so maybe I’m not that far off!
This activity is not new to me, but Rachelle gave me some new ideas and inspired me to pull out this old favorite again.
what you need: cornstarch ~ plastic container ~ water
I used a plastic pool in the backyard, but this can easily be done at the kitchen table or on a wipe-able indoor floor space. I filled a plastic container with spoons, cups, a scapula, and two containers of cornstarch.
Big M dumped the dry cornstarch into the container right away. . .
and then ran to grab a car.
The texture of plain cornstarch is so cool, I think they would have been happy to use it dry. Unfortunately the wind was picking up and the cornstarch was flying. I gave them water, in small increments. The thing with cornstarch is that if you add too much water it will just dissolve, so make sure to add it slowly.
If you have never tried cornstarch and water, it is so neat. When you hold it, and press it, the substance feels like a solid. . .
Questions(to ask your little ones): ”What do you think will happen when we add the water?” ”Can you pick up the spoon quickly? Why or Why not?” ”Press the cornstarch and water in your hand. How does it feel? Now loosen your grip and relax your hand. What is happening to the cornstarch and water?”
Tips(to maximize learning): 1. Even toddlers can do this one, you may want to add the water first if your kids are really little so they don’t breath in the powder. The textures and sensory experience will be wonderful! 2. I wondered out loud what would happen if we left some cornstarch and water out. Would it go back to powder? Little M seemed interested so we set aside a bowl to check in the morning. 3. When you clean up dissolve the mixture completely before putting it down the drain. *** I have never had a problem with my drains, but if you are worried about it let the mixture come back to solid then toss it in the trash.***
How do you use cornstarch and water?