Goop is a perennial favorite at our messy table, but we recently came up with a way to make it even more exciting for our 3-5 year old students: let them make it themselves! This project appeals to their sense of independence and provides them with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Plus, they get to take it with them – who doesn’t love taking a new toy home?
This is all part of our carefully designed lesson plan for each age: there is a lot of learning that goes on with this activity. Kids learn to follow simple directions, and concepts such as pouring and mixing.
We give the children a small cup and a small tube of white glue – we found these that are very easy to the kids to squeeze – great for developing fine finger control and hand strength. And kids love to squeeze glue.
We ask them to fill the container about ½ way and they happily oblige. Since the kids generally want to squeeze the whole bottle out, it is a good idea to only fill the glue bottle with enough glue so that it doesn’t over fill the cup.
Then we squeeze out a few drops of food coloring into the glue and have the child mix it in.
We advise the students to mix until the glue is all one color (in this case, pink) not two – (red and white).
Next, we give the students another small cup, this one with a small amount of liquid laundry starch in it. The general proportions of goop are 3 glue:1 starch – you can eyeball it. The glue will only absorb a certain amount of the starch and you can pour the rest off.
When they are finished, we pop a lid labeled with their name onto it. They can return to the messy table throughout class to play with their very own goop, and after class they can find theirs to take home with them. Leaving it for them to pick up promotes letter and name recognition at this pre-reading stage.