Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Oobleck Swamp

We did a bit of a swamp exploration this week, starting with our edible swamp sensory bin, which was so much fun and was pretty tasty too! Now we explored an oobleck swamp, which is as much fun but not as tasty. We will end our swamp exploration with another sensory bin that will be posted later this week. Bean is especially enjoying learning about this mucky environment that is home to all sorts of creepy crawlies. 

To start it off, I placed a few paper towels on the coffee table (when the oobleck spills on the coffee table it hardens and is harder to clean off, but it balls up on the paper towels and peels right off) and a styrofoam tray with some lizards, snakes, frogs and alligators. While I was in the kitchen preparing our swamp, Bean sat with Munchkin and looked through some pictures of swamps in a book. She correctly matched up the creatures to the ones in the book and we talked a bit about swamp habitats and what creatures live there. Then I brought out the pan of oobleck... I had decided to add two different shades of green food colouring and a few drops of black food colouring and I'm so glad I did! It looked so fantastic and Bean exclaimed, "oh my god, it's a swamp!" 

Like any regular oobleck, this stuff was amazing! Liquid and solid rolled into one, being a rebel and breaking the laws of Newtonian fluids. It never fails to amaze and delight them.

The dark and light greens swirling around in the gray muck was just fantastic! It really did look like a swamp and we talked about what the greens and grays could be. Like, the dark green area was where lots of algae lived and the gray area was where the water was deeper and more murky. And just like real swamp goop, it stuck to your skin!

The blend of greens and gray were just amazing! The kids loved swirling the colours around and popped any bubbles that formed. Eventually the colours did blend together, but it was still so fun to play in!

Munchkin really enjoyed sticking the lizards into the swamp goo and holding them up to show me. Bean enjoyed letting goop slide off her hands into the pan.

And despite all the food colouring, their hands were barely stained and it came right off with some soap and warm water.

My favourite part was when they finally added the alligators. Bean placed them in the swamp and told me they were waiting for their prey. And like real alligators, they were very patient and waited. And waited. And waited. And finally when I thought they had forgotten about the alligators, they lunged at a nearby lizard and took him down into the depths of the swamp. Munchkin made sure the lizard stayed there and then proceeded to sink the rest of the lizards.

Eventually most of the swamp creatures were sunk or eaten or were just swimming around peacefully (the frogs). The kids barely noticed how much time went by, because by the time we cleaned up it had already been just over two hours.

Activities like this are just so much fun and I hope you enjoy it too if you ever create your own oobleck swamp!

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