A few days ago the munchkin and I made Gak and I may be revealing the extent of my nerdom here, but I thought it looked like ectoplasm. Doesn’t it look like Slimer passed out on our kitchen table? Yea, I’m a Ghostbusters fan. :)
But thankfully we didn’t need a ghost to make our homemade slime, a.k.a. Gak. Instead, we used 3 everyday things: clear glue, liquid starch and green food coloring. And the process was so easy that even a 3-year-old can (and did) do it.
First you need to pour 1 cup of clear glue in a large glass bowl. This step the munchkin did by himself. Next I helped him measure 1/4 a cup of liquid starch, which we added to the glass bowl along with a few drops of green food coloring.
Then I gave the munchkin a big metal spoon and he mixed the ingredients together while I added liquid starch a tablespoon at a time. We kept adding starch until the mixture held together like putty and felt rubbery. When all we said and done we ended up using 1 cup of glue and 3/4 cup liquid starch, though the website we found this recipe on gives a ratio of 1 cup glue to 1 cup starch. I think it all comes down to experimentation.
When the Gak was ready we poured it onto the table and started kneading it. The munchkin thought this was a blast and started slapping the Gak. Every time he slapped it the Gak would jiggle a little bit and he would bust out in hysterical laughter. Who wouldn’t love all that squishy, jiggly, pokey fun?
Pretty soon we were making hand impressions and stretching the Gak into all sorts of shapes. I was surprised by how far and thin you could stretch the stuff without it breaking. At one point the munchkin stood on his chair and stretched the Gak as high as he could reach – and it still didn’t come apart!
But my favorite part of this activity was seeing how the munchkin’s imagination is evolving. See me, if I was playing with Gak, I’d just poke it a few times, maybe make a hand impression and that’s it. Not so for the munchkin. He started pulling the Gak into all these strands and globs. He said the strands were train tracks and the globs were stations. Then he turned his little hands into trains that moved along the tracks. Suffice to say my mental life is very boring when compared to a 3-year-old’s. :)
If you’re looking for a fun indoor activity I’d definitely recommend this one. Preschoolers can help with the assembly while toddlers can just dive into the squishy experience. One note though: the food coloring could possibly stain the surface you’re working on so if that’s a concern then cover it with a plastic table cloth. That being said, we didn’t use a cover because our table is already kinda beat up and the food coloring did not leave any stains behind.
Find the Gak recipe here!