"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sensory Diet - Keeping Toddlers (and Everyone Else) Happy

It's important for toddlers and preschoolers to touch and feel many different textures.  It's part of what occupational therapists call a "Sensory Diet."  One part of my kids' sensory diet is "GLURCH."  Glurch is a weird substance who's name is derived from the first three letters of each of its components:  1 part glue:1 part liquid starch.  Just pour glue into a cup or bowl.  Add an equal amount of liquid starch.  Stir.  Then, you might have to get in there with your hands to knead.  Store it in an air tight container.

I  was cleaning out a craft cabinet in which I found several very old containers of pearlized and gel glue from five years ago.  I really didn't expect it to be usable, but it was just fine.  Apparently I had closed the containers tightly when I stored them.  The result, several batches of glurch that my younger kids call "slime."

First, we have pearlized green glue turned into green slime that looks like, well, a bodily fluid that comes from the nose, which is the boys' favorite.

I also found red and pink gel glue that became lava slime.  The plastic dinosaurs find it much more pleasant than real lava.

The last thing we tried was a combination of clear glitter glue and blue gel glue.  It's more blue than clear and the glitter makes it really shimmery.  The girls seem to like that one the best.

We especially like to keep this around on days when the older kids need mom and the little people need to be distracted and entertained.  This works splendidly.

And, it's great for covering toys and finding them, wadding up and blowing into with a straw to blow "bubbles" and letting settle down your arm, just for the eek effect.

It's also a great science experiment, if you want to explain the science behind polymers.  Here's a nice description compliments of www.science-class.net:
A POLYMER is unique because it has qualities of both a solid and a liquid. It can take the shape of its containers like a liquid does, yet you can hold it in your hand and pick it up like a solid. Solid molecules are tight together, liquid molecules spread out and break apart (drops) POLYMER molecules CHAIN themselves together (they can stretch and bend like chains) and that makes them special. Jell-O, rubber bands, plastic soda bottles, sneaker soles, even gum are all forms of polymers.

We also let them make and play with OOBLECK which is 1 part cornstarch to 1 part water.  You can add food color as you like.  Adjust the proportions and you have sidewalk paint when you add more water.

Oh, and don't be surprised if your older kids get in on the fun.  My 12 year old daughter can't stay way from either substance!

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