A fun activity for your toddler
It's a solid ... no, it's a liquid ... no, a solid ... no ... wait, what is it? It's gloop! A fascinating, curious substance that has properties of both a liquid and a solid.
This activity is a little messy, but it's definitely worth it. Gloop will mesmerize your toddler – and probably you, too!
Good for age: 19 months (but older and younger kids might enjoy it, too!)
Skills developed: fine motor skills, language
What you'll need: a large bowl (preferably plastic), two big spoons, cornstarch, water, food coloring (optional), an apron or clothes you don't mind getting messy; newspaper to protect the floor if you're playing inside
Safety note: Discourage your child from eating gloop since it's thick and might cause him to gag. If your child has asthma or you're concerned about him breathing in the cornstarch, mix it with water while he's at a safe distance.
This activity is probably best outdoors, but if you're inside, put down plenty of newspaper to protect the floor. Either way, make sure your toddler is wearing clothes you don't mind getting messy.
Pour a cup or two of cornstarch into your bowl, and gradually add water until you have a gloopy mixture. Let your toddler hold one of the spoons and help you "stir" as you go. Add a few drops of food coloring, if you're using it, and stir again.
Now roll up your toddler's sleeves and let him plunge his hands into the bowl. Pick up some of the gloop yourself and squeeze it. Note that as you apply pressure, it feels like a solid. Relax your hand and the gloop will run back into the bowl as a liquid.
Talk to your toddler about what he can feel as the two of you squish and squash the gloop. For example, you can say, "When we squeeze it, it feels solid and firm. But when we stop squeezing, it gets soft again. Isn't that funny?" And make sure there's enough gloop for both of you – it's a little addictive.
- See all our weekly toddler activities
- Visit your 19-month-old page