Monday, July 14, 2014

Messy Monday: Slime With A Twist

Having a child with eczema makes sensory play a bit of a challenge. But when that child loves sensory play, you make it happen.
Having made slime (corn starch and water) a few times already, I wanted to give it a little twist this time. After a quick search for "eczema friendly sensory play", I found Interaction Imagination. Her method used lotion and corn starch, but suggested trying coconut oil.
Coconut oil? We love coconut oil!
Here is what you will need:
I melted small Dixie cups of coconut oil, and added a few drops of green food coloring. I wish I had thought ahead, and had Annabelle help with this step. Being water-based, the food coloring did not mix with the oil. Instead, it bubbled, as it sank to the bottom of the cup. A quick stir with a chopstick broke up the bubbles into several tiny specks of green, floating in the oil. What fun that would have been with multiple colors in a clear cup and a flashlight.
I then placed the cups in the refrigerator to quickly solidify the oil. I was hoping this would enhance the sensory experience. While we waited, an impromptu game of balloon baseball with a hair brush broke out in the living room.
Annabelle especially loved trying to catch the balloon, while I kept whacking it with the hairbrush, out of her reach. She did correct me at one point, however. Apparently, you are only supposed to hit the balloon with the bristles.
Hazel enjoyed the show, too. She got excited whenever the balloon floated close to her.
Before long, the coconut oil was solidified, and ready.
Just like the baking soda experiment, I started by giving Annabelle one component of the activity at a time. She played with the corn starch like it was snow, scooping, scraping, and sculpting to the best of her ability.
After about 10 minutes, I added the oil. If I were to do this activity again, I would have left the oil at room temperature, so that it would be a solid state, but not so hard. She struggled to get the oil out of the cup and melt it with her hands. This caused her to lose some interest in the block of oil, until I helped her by squeezing it between my fingers.
Once that was done, though, her mess was under way. The highlight of the activity, was when she discovered she could make farting noises by squeezing the mixture between her palms. She giggled as the goop oozed between her fingers, and the fart noises abounded.

She played for about an hour, covering her arms and face in corn starch and coconut oil. Clean-up took about 10 minutes (not including getting herself cleaned up, which wound up being a quick bath).

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