Messing with Muck


It’s obviously been a while since I was here. And I have a very good excuse explanation for that.
I forgot all about this site!

So…. today, among other things, we had a lot of fun playing with something called “muck” that Noah found a recipe for in a hands-on science book.
I definitely recommend it :
It’s easy to make, the children did it all by themselves.
It’s easy to clean up, it just dries to powder that can be wiped up with a wet cloth or vacuumed up from the floor.
And it kept 5 children at the table happily playing on a rainy day for almost 2 hours solid. That’s worth a lot of mess and difficulty if there had been any!
Here’s the “recipe”:
¾ c cornstarch
1/3 c water (optionally add food coloring to the water)
That’s it!
You slowly add the cornstarch to the water in a bowl, and wait for 3-5 minutes. If you added food coloring to the water, it’s extra neat to watch the color “climb” into the powder. At that point, it looks like (to me anyway) that something went wrong, that some is too dry and some is too wet. But dig your hand down in there and pull up a clump, and start to mix it around and play.
It looks wet, but it feels dry. You can squeeze it into a hard ball, and when you look through the cracks in your hand, the ball looks dry, maybe it will even crumble a bit because it’s so dry. Then, when you open your hand, it very quickly reverts to a shiny, drippy liquid that will run through your fingers and drip!
We had large baking sheets out, one for the girls and one for the boys, and they contained what mess there was from the drips quite well. As I said before, the little bit of cleanup was easy to do.
If you make this, I recommend doing what Oksana did at least once: she very quickly – before it could “run” out – flipped the bowl upside down over the tray. The “muck” stuck to the bowl and began to grow stalactites!


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