Tag Archives: cornstarch

{AMAZING} Ice Cream Dough

Ice Cream DoughThis afternoon Gracen and I tried out a new sensory material originally created by Jessie of Play Create Explore (if you’re a parent and haven’t checked out her blog before, you definitely should – she’s got hundreds of sensory play ideas, fun bath ideas, and tons more) and it was AWESOME.

IMG 5062The ingredients seem a little strange, but they work perfectly together to create a hard ice cream-looking texture.  The main two ingredients are cornstarch and conditioner – yes, hair conditioner – the cheapest variety you can find.   The other stuff is just food colouring and cheap imitation extracts to make it look and smell more like real ice cream.

IMG 5063We decided on making 3 ‘flavours’ (coconut, strawberry, and hazelnut), Gracen started us off by putting an equal amount of conditioner in 3 bowls.

IMG 5065Then she added our food colouring – none for coconut, red for strawberry, and a combination of red, green, and yellow for the hazelnut.

IMG 5067Then she added a generous pour of extract into each of the bowls…

IMG 5068And mixed them up.

IMG 5069One thing I will say is that we should have spend a little more time looking for an unscented {or at least a very lightly scented} conditioner.  At $1.28, the price was certainly right, but the strong ‘fresh’ scent gave our imitation extracts a serious run for their money.  Even something food scented would have been better…  Next time we’ll look for something of the strawberry / coconut / mango variety.

IMG 5070Next up was the messy part…  Mixing the cornstarch into the conditioner mixture.

IMG 5078After gently folding and blending the cornstarch and conditioner together, this was the end result.

IMG 5080Isn’t it crazy how much it looks like REAL hard ice cream?!

IMG 5081Here’s a close up view.

IMG 5098And as long as it’s handled like hard ice cream usually is (not rolled or smoothed over too much – thanks for the tip, Jessie!), it scoops perfectly – just as ice cream does. ☺

 

We followed Play Create Explore‘s ratios exactly, so please visit the original post here.  The amounts we used for these batches, along with details on the colouring and extracts are as follows:

Coconut Ice Cream Dough

1/2 cup of cheap hair conditioner

1 cup of cornstarch

1 tablespoon of imitation coconut extract

 

Strawberry Ice Cream Dough

1/2 cup of cheap hair conditioner

1 cup of cornstarch

6 drops of red food colouring

1 tablespoon of imitation strawberry extract

 

Hazelnut Ice Cream Dough

1/2 cup of cheap hair conditioner

1 cup of cornstarch

4 drops of red food colouring

4 drops of green food colouring

12 drops of yellow food colouring

1 tablespoon of imitation hazelnut extract

 

Enjoy!

♥ 

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Playing with Oobleck

Playing with OobleckToday Miss G and I tried making and playing with the ridiculously fun {and equally messy} substance called Oobleck.  It’s made out of only 2 ingredients (or 3 if you want to add a little colour), and it isn’t quite a liquid and it isn’t really a solid…  In fact, it behaves like both. 

While teaching in Kuwait, my team members and I always made Oobleck with our first grade classes during our solids, liquids, and gasses unit and it was definitely one of the favourite lessons.  Today, Grae enjoyed it just as much as my 6 and 7 year old students did, so this is definitely something that can be done with children of all ages.

IMG 2043All you need in order to make Oobleck is water and cornstarch, plus food colouring if you wish.

IMG 2047I like to start by adding the colouring to the water first because it’s a lot easier to stir colouring into water than into the finished Oobleck.

IMG 2050Plus, this way you get to watch the colouring disperse into the water, which is always kind of neat.

IMG 2052Start by giving your water a little stir to make sure the colouring is evenly dispersed.

IMG 2055Then add your cornstarch a cup at a time, stirring it into the water as you go.

IMG 2058When the mixture is nice and thick and you’re not able to pour off any excess water, your Oobleck is ready.

Now go ahead and play!  Watch what happens when you touch the Oobleck quickly with a lot of pressure, versus when you touch it slowly and gently.  

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Be prepared to get messy – it’s more fun that way!  Putting a towel or tray under the bowl of Oobleck should catch most of the spills, and since Oobleck is best played with with hands, you won’t be left with a sink full of dishes afterwards.  ☺

Here are a couple of quick iPhone videos I managed to take of us playing with our Oobleck…

Oobleck

  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 cups of cornstarch
  • 1 or 2 drops of food colouring

Start by colouring the water with food colouring.  Add the cornstarch a cup at a time, stirring in between additions.  The Oobleck is ready when the mixture is thick and excess water cannot by poured off.

(Many recipes on the internet will say that for 1 cup of water you should only need between 1 and 2 cups of cornstarch, but my experience has been that the 1:3 ratio works out perfectly every time.  My suggestion is to add slowly after the second cup and see what works best for you.)

Enjoy!

To learn more about Oobleck, click here.  To see where Oobleck got its silly-sounding name, click here.

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Sidewalk Chalk Painting

After teaching both yesterday and the day before, it was so good to spend the day with my girl today. (Two work days in a row was new for us… I missed her.)  We spent the morning at the aquarium visiting sea creatures, and decided to try something new this afternoon.

Sidewalk chalk is a usual thing around here, and we’ve done mess-free sidewalk painting a few times recently, but we hadn’t yet tried sidewalk chalk painting.  It was about time.

There are TONS of sidewalk chalk paint recipes floating around the internet, but we just went for it and mixed up our own version. I wanted more of a watercolour consistency rather than a paste in order to allow Miss G to make longer brushstrokes before having to reload her brush, so we used a lot more water than cornstarch.  And since I’ve read that the paint dries a lot lighter than it looks when wet, we amped it up by using generous amounts of gel colouring {hence them looking so dark in the photos}.

(FYI – The cool paint swirls are courtesy of my little lady.  Who knew a good swift bump of the paint tray right as the photo is being snapped equals awesome swirls?)

IMG 3446Gracen didn’t hesitate to get started.  The second I gave her the okay, she got busy dunking her paintbrush and creating her sidewalk masterpiece.

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She honestly LOVED it.  She was so focused and content that she did not put down her paintbrush once the entire time until the paint was gone.  And when it was?  There was a prompt, “More, Mama! More!” directed my way.  Sadly, I’d used all of our cornstarch and couldn’t whip up another batch, but I’m pretty certain that this will become a regular activity this summer.

The end result was a sidewalk {and toddler} covered in beautifully vibrant colours, a very happy little lady, and much needed bath.

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Sidewalk Chalk Paint

  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 2 cups (or less, depending on desired consistency) of water
  • Several small globs of gel icing colouring

Using a muffin tin, put a little food colouring in each cup, varying the colour combinations and the amounts of dye. In a large measuring cup, mix together the cornstarch and water.  Carefully pour a little into each muffin cup and mix well.

Take the paint outside {preferably on a tray to prevent spills} along with paintbrushes and watch your little one(s) create a sidewalk masterpiece. Give paints a little stir every once and a while to prevent the cornstarch from sinking to the bottom.

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