One of our most beloved materials here at The Messy Artist is Goop. This stretchy, squishy material also goes by other names (slime, gak, flubber) and is simple to make with white glue and liquid laundry starch. We add color and glitter to add even more interest to this material – but it is lots of fun even without these!
Here’s our recipe – it’s very easy and quick to make.Before class starts, we like to spread it out all over the table in fun patterns so that when kids enter the room they are immediately intrigued. This encourages play as a group activity as the kids jump right in. For birthday parties, kids love it when we spell out their names.
Goop is very stretchy and as it warms from use, gets even more pliable. Some of our staff are experts at stretching it across large areas, as well as making bubbles out of the stretched out goop. We also do a “make your own goop” activity, where the kids get to do their own mixing and kneading to create their very own personal sized serving of goop. We package it up so they can take it home and continue the using it there. One caveat with Goop: since it is made of glue, it will stick when placed on porous materials. This includes clothing and hair. But if this does happen (and since we work with kids age 18 months and up, we’ve seen it happen!) clothing can be soaked to loosen the goop, and then washed. Oil (vegetable or other) or peanut butter can be used on the hair to release the goop from it.
Goop encourages social interaction and is wonderful for both large and small muscle development in the fingers and hands. The children become scientists, investigating the properties of this unique substance, testing its textures, stretchiness and bounciness. Of course, the kids don’t realize all the learning and growing they are doing – they just think it is a blast!