Liver and unicorn poo

As the basis for a lot of our science work at the moment, we are using the Lift-the-Flap Periodic Table book. This is a great book to use. It is written in a cartoon like style, so is really engaging for the boys. At the same time, the information that is in there is a lot more complex than the pictures suggest, so they learn a lot by focussing on the details.

We have a bundle of lesson plans that go with the book. Several of them revolve around making different variations of slime. We watched the video on how to make the first of these last week, but didnt have all the stuff to do it. The boys spent a week prompting me to go shopping.

Finally, the day arrived when we had all the ingredients. Although it was the end of the day, the boys insisted that the time had come for slime making. This lesson was lots of fun, and as silly as it sounds.

Exact measures are not really needed, but the qualities of the slime will change depending on how much of the various parts you add. We did it like this.

  • A couple of cm of PVA craft glue.
  • Three or four squirts of foaming hand soap.
  • Half a can of shaving cream.
  • A teaspoon of borax dissolved in a cup of water.
  • Food dye

Put the first three ingredients in a bowl, and mix it thoroughly with your hands. Although it is all water soluble, its probably worth adding that at no stage do you want any of this inside the house. Slowly add the occassional dash of dissolved borax as you are mixing.

After a while, it becomes kind of tacky. This is great because the main blob can be used to pick up all the bits that stick to the sides of the bowl, across the table and down your arms. One boy wanted red and the other wanted lilac, so once they ended up with fairly cohesive blobs, we started adding small amounts of food dye.

My youngest boy was telling me at one stage that he had made a liver. We tend not to come across too many livers at our house, so this took me a bit by surprise. He might have been reminded of a liver cake that we saw online recently, or he could have been thinking of the liver donor card from the Meaning of Life. I didnt get to ask.

It did look like a liver though.

Meanwhile, my eldest boy was enjoying how the colours swirled into each other. He was able to assure me that this is what unicorn poo looks like.

Obviously.

They kept this up for a good hour, and only stopped because we were running out of light. By that stage, each slime blob had become a little denser and firmer in texture. They were great to stretch, but were no longer so uncontrollable that they would drip very much. Not surprisingly, by then they were both just coloured purple. Any loose bits were easily picked up and stuck to the main blob. They had both been careful not to drop it on any dirty or fuzzy surfaces, and I was surprised at how cleanly it all packed away.

Apparently, if you coat your foot in slime it feels really good.

About Blokeschool

I am a homeschooling dad with a wife and two boys. I'm not quite sure what I'm doing, so I feel compelled to write it all down. In my spare time, I work as a manager for the local health district, drink too much coffee, and am an overenthusiastic martial artist.
This entry was posted in Science and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Liver and unicorn poo

  1. Fiona says:

    What a fantastic activity. And can you imagine how hard that would be to do in a class of about 25 kids? Who all have to pack up ‘in time for the bell’? I’m an in-school teacher but love reading posts like this. Great learning! 🙂

    • Blokeschool says:

      Yes. While there are certain advantages to having a critical mass of kids, there is a lot of stuff which can only be be done with small numbers and very elastic boundaries of the available time and space. A lot of the educational time I spend with the boys these days is relatively formal lessons, so it was great to just be able to enjoy having crazy fun with this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s