After you read about this awesome outdoor activity from contributing writer Kim you will be saying just want I did when I first read it, “Why didn’t I think of that?” and “I am so going to do this like tomorrow!”
Now that the weather is great, we are outside all of the time. I am always looking for fun ways to learn and explore outdoors. But when we just play in the driveway, it can get a little boring after a while. So I tried this with the kids and it was a HUGE hit.
You need a bowl, corn starch, water, food coloring, a stick or spoon to stir, and a tennis ball.
Pour some cornstarch in the bowl and add water until it reaches the consistency you would like. I wanted it to about the same as milk. Add lots and lots of food coloring. When the “paint” dries it lightens up a lot.
Now roll your ball in the paint.
Then bounce the ball around. The kids got a kick out of the bounce marks the balls left behind.
I just stood back and watched them explore and experiment with the paint and the ball. My son rolled the ball across the driveway. They bounced the balls with varying forces and noticed a difference in the spots left behind.
Now this is a messy activity. The paint got on their clothes, but it washed out. I would strongly recommend wearing play clothes, just in case. The kid’s hands did turn bright blue. After a few washings, the color came off.
It was a great time and great for all ages (even big kids). My toddler got to learn and experiment with cause and effect. My preschooler learned about the reaction that different levels of forces put on the ball. We talked about the cornstarch dissolving in the water. We talked about the food coloring changing the paint. This activity was a wealth of scientific knowledge. The kids had so much fun with it, too.
The project soon evolved into dipping our hands in the paint and making handprints on the driveway and porch. My son poured out some paint into a puddle on the driveway and then rode his bike through it. He got a huge kick out of the different tracks that his bike vs. his big wheel made.
It was fun to watch my children explore possibilities and try out different ideas. I just sat back and let them learn. And they thought they were just playing.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.