Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sensory bin: Homemade "gak"

Pin It

I'm going to start off with two disclaimers: 
1 - this is not the Nickelodeon Gak you remember destroying your parents' house with in the early 90's.  It is still fun, and less messy.
2 - this recipe contains Borax.  If you are worried about using borax, read this site and make an informed decision.  That said, the amount used in this recipe is very little, and most of it gets poured off.

Now, on to the fun.

You will need:

4 oz of white glue (think Elmer's - I'm sure non-Elmer's would work, too.)
1/4 c. water
1 tsp Borax (available in detergent aisles.  You'll get a giant box.  Use it in your laundry.)

Pour the glue into a medium bowl.  If you want to add in food coloring, add it to the glue now.  
In a small bowl, dissolve the borax in the water.  
Pour the water over the glue slowly, stirring constantly.  You may not add all the water. 

Here is where it gets really fun.  You can control the consistency of your gak.  Squeeze the glue-pile-becoming-gak to make sure you get it all mixed.  If you like the consistency, stop adding water and remove what you have from the bowl.  If you want it more rubbery and firm, keep pouring and kneeding it in the water.  I, being more impatient than my child, poured all the water out at once, then lifted the mass out of the bowl.  It oozed everywhere (there was a glue bubble inside the mass) and I had to scrape it up into the bowl again.  Using a little of the bowl water, I cleaned up the rest (more like turning it into rubber) and tried the experiment again the way the instructions said to.  Following directions 101.

Now, if you want to get really science-y with your kids, pour the glue (or have them squirt it!) into the water after making a "control" batch.  Compare the results.  (I'm not going to tell you what happens!  But it is cool.)

Bunny also likes gak.

It bounces!
If you make yours very rubbery, it makes an amazing bouncy ball.  V. also enjoyed practicing using her toddler knife on the gak, and cutting shapes with cookie cutters.  It is also fun to flatten and snap apart.  

Sadly, due to all the bouncing, our gak got funky.  We'll be making more of this soon!  It is very fun, and if you don't chuck it into every corner of the dog's cage, it will keep indefinitely.  

PS - the ball you see above is one batch.  Plan accordingly, because it was difficult enough for the two of us to share!  If you have more than one child, you're going to want to plan a batch for each.  And maybe one for yourself.

No comments:

Post a Comment