Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Frozen Ice Cream Oobleck

We have been experimenting with a lot of recipes lately and seeing what we can freeze (because it has been really hot and humid and any amount of a chill helps!). We especially like frozen chalk, frozen watercolours and frozen baking soda. But then I remembered this recipe for Chilly Ice Cream Goo over at Fun at Home with Kids and just knew we had to try it!

My kids love sensory play activities and we try to do one every day. But this particular activity was a huge hit! Oobleck is one of our favourite sensory materials because it is so simple to make and so fun to play with. Not to mention, the recipe is inexpensive and clean up is pretty easy, so you can't go wrong with that! Oobleck is made with cornstarch (cornflour) and water (about 1 cup water to every 1.5-2 cups of cornstarch).

To make Oobleck extra special, try adding a "smellfully delicious" (Bean's exact words) spin to it! You just need 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla extract and 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Make two separate batches or make one batch and divide them, then add the additional ingredients. The vanilla ice cream will stay lightly coloured like regular oobleck and the cocoa powder will make a lovely batch of brown chocolate scented oobleck. Both look pretty realistic! Then pour it into a freezer safe container and let it harden for a few hours.

This is how it looks when you are adding ingredients and mixing it.

But we couldn't wait to play with it! So instead of waiting the 4 hours, we only waited 2. This was fine because it had hardened enough that it was incredibly easy to scoop out of the tupperware and put in a clear plastic bowl. However, despite being super cold, it quickly oozed and became a puddle of ice cream in the bowls. So honestly, it was just like playing with real ice cream! The kids were completely convinced that it was ice cream, but really didn't bother trying to taste it because they immediately began playing with it and didn't stop for two whole hours! And it stayed cold that whole time, so it was a perfect activity for a hot and humid day indoors.

To set this up, I put a towel down on the coffee table and then brought out the ice cream goo in a glass pan with a few containers of sprinkles (small pieces of foam that I cut up to look like sprinkles, colourful beads, and sequins).

Frozen oobleck is seriously so much fun to play with! The kids really enjoyed decorating their bowls of ice cream. Bean's is on the left and Munchkin's is on the right - can you tell he liked the sprinkles?

 Bean really loved playing with the vanilla ice cream. It was a bit more frozen than the chocolate ice cream, so she had a lot of fun grabbing clumps of it, rolling it into balls and then watching it slowly ooze into a puddle. Then she would scoop it up and dump it back into the main bowl of vanilla ice cream.

The sprinkles added so much colour and texture to the ice cream goo!

And of course when Munchkin had emptied out all the containers of sprinkles, he stacked them up on top of his bowl. :)

Even though it wasn't fully frozen, it held its shape for pretty long. But the more you play with it, the quicker it melts!

At one point they both flipped their bowls over to see how long it would take to ooze out and in the meantime made me a few mugs of chocolate and vanilla tea - YUM!

When enough had oozed out, Bean decorated her ice cream puddle and told me it was a cookie. :)

It's hard to believe that it wasn't really ice cream. It smelled, looked and felt just like the real thing! But it provided hours of play, stayed cold and wasn't sticky like ice cream is. In other words, it was perfect for pretend play ice cream. :)

And this is just the start! Now that we have tried these two flavours (and love them!), we are planning on creating a few new flavours. So stayed tuned for upcoming posts about frozen ice cream goo!

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