January 2009


Magic Mixtures

Children will think you’re MAGIC when you mix up some of these recipes! They’re great for molding, squishing, manipulating, and exploring. Make sure children wash their hands before and after playing with these mixtures. You’ll also want to supervise children as they make and play with these materials.

           2 cups white glue
           1 ½ cups water
           food coloring
           2 level tsp. Borax soap
           1 cup hot water

Combine the glue, 1 ½ cups water, and food coloring. Set aside. In another large bowl, dissolve the Borax in the cup of hot water. Slowly stir the glue mixture into the Borax. It will coagulate and be difficult to mix. Pour off the excess water, then let it sit for several minutes. Drain off the remaining water. Store flubber covered in the refrigerator when it is not being used.

Note! Borax is toxic and should not be used with younger children.

            1 cup cornstarch
            ½ - ¾ cup water

Place 1 cup cornstarch in a bowl. Slowly stir in enough water (½ cup to ¾ cup) to make a thick liquid. Hold the goop in your hand, then turn your hand over and let it run back into the bowl. How is it like a liquid? How is it like a solid?

Silly Putty

            white glue
            liquid starch

Use two parts glue to one part liquid starch. Pour starch into the glue a little at a time. Mix well. Add more starch if needed so mixture is not sticky. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

            • Add food coloring if you desire.

Color Stew

            1/3 cup sugar
            4 cups water
            1 cup cornstarch
            food coloring
            heavy duty zip bags

Cook all ingredients until thick. Divide mixture into three bowls and add red, yellow, or blue food coloring to each bowl. Place some of each color in a zip bag and seal with tape. Let children squeeze the bags and mix colors.

Play on with Play Dough

            2 cups all purpose flour
            1 cup salt
            2 TB. cream of tartar
            2 TB. vegetable oil
            2 cups water food coloring

Mix all the ingredients together in a pan and stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until the mixture forms a ball and sticks to the spoon. Cool and knead. Store in plastic bags or covered containers.

  • Add oil of mint or other extracts to play dough to give it a fragrance.
  • Use 2 TB baby oil or massage oil in place of the vegetable oil.
  • Unsweetened Kool-aid mix can be used in lieu of food coloring. The flavor will add a sweet aroma!
  • Make surprise balls. Follow the recipe, omitting the food coloring. Take small amounts of dough and roll them into balls. Poke a hole in each and add a drop of food coloring to the middle of each ball. Pinch to seal in the color. Children knead the balls and – surprise!

Hint! Have children play with dough and clay on plastic placemats or lunchroom trays. Add scissors, cookie cutters, play dishes, birthday candles, and other cooking props.

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