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I love sensory play even though now I am a mummy (yep, I always join in in their sensory play) and the same goes for smarties. I love stimulating their senses since young: touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. Sensory activities allow children to explore and encourage them to use scientific processes while they are creating and investigating the material/substance. Children (even adults) engage better through sensory activities that indirectly making them learn better and retain more information. On top of that, it helps them to develop and enhance their cognitive, social and emotional, physical, creative and linguistic skillsets.
This week, not only do we have some sensory fun, we get to perform some science experiment too. Smarties can’t wait to get their hands dirty. We are working on making cornstarch goo! So what do we need for this sensory cum science activity? Well, all you need is just cornstarch and water! Simple right?
Smarties get to pour the cornstarch into a small pail and slowly mix in the water while using their hands to stir. If you are trying it out, do let your child feels the powdery cornstarch before mixing in the water.
While mixing in the water, let them tell you how they feel. Great way to increase their vocabulary of words too!
Once it becomes gooey, notice the unusual consistency. Throw in some toys to make it more fun.
While playing with it, smarties discovered something. They realised that when they hold it tightly, it behaves as a solid, but when they hold it gently, it turns into a very sticky-looking liquid that dripped like glue.
Smarties got really excited and started punching and slapping the gooey substance. At times, they will slowly stir it using their toys. They slowly added more and more toys into it. Check out the mess they created while enjoying the fun.
They were curious why the substance acted differently when a different force is applied to it. Now a brief science explanation here: the gooey substance is actually made up of tiny, solid particles of cornstarch suspended in water. When you squeeze or add force to it, the molecules line up hence it becomes solid. When no one is pressing or applying any force on it, it will act like a liquid because the molecules relax.
Am I worried about the mess? Frankly speaking, I don’t because smarties will take up the responsibilities of cleaning up. We have rules at home: whoever messed up the place will have to clean up. So here we are, cleaning up after a day of fun.
Here’s a quick step by step guide on how to make the gooey sensory play. Enjoy!
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