Messy Play: Four Ways to Play with Goop

To make goop you need 1 cup corn flour and 1/2 cup cold water. Place corn flour in a basin and add water very slowly, stirring. Stop when damp but not liquid.

We had goop. But very, very watery goop. I don’t even think it qualifies as goop. Nonetheless, we proceeded with our goop play. I had a couple of ideas of what we could do with our tub of watery goop.


1. Feely goop box

Place a few blocks in the goop box and have the kids get the blocks out using their hands. Great for stereognosis (or recognising objects by touch); bilateral skills in hand manipulation and tolerating the slimy feeling.

N & M didn’t like the slimy feeling so they used  their wooden spoons to get the blocks out. They were very quick at getting the blocks out. E loved making big splashes and he figured out quickly that the wooden spoon was the most effective tool for that. Oh well, there are benefits for playing with spoons too: great for using both hands together; hand and finger strength; and shoulder, elbow and wrist strength and stability.


2. Colour the goop with paint.

Inspired by The Imagination Tree’s Marbled Oobleck, I was keen to add some colour to our goop. Too chicken to use food colouring because of its possible staining factors, I opted for tempera paint placed in spray bottles. Because our goop was so watery, the colours weren’t very vibrant and disappeared quickly – especially with little E keen to mix the goop. However, as declared by N, the colours as they swirled in the watery goop were “Ooo… so pretty!”.



3. Add glitter to the goop.

At first we used little glitter shakers. Little E started to drop the glitter shakers into the goop tub, thus blocking up the holes in the lids of the shakers. So, we took off the lids and created little  mountains of glitter in our water goop. Ah – such a visual delight!

This was little E’s first really messy play experience. Boy did he enjoy stirring and splashing!By this point in time, M had had enough messy play and went inside to clean himself. N continued to experiment with placing paint and glitter into the goop tub.

N & E have very similar personalities but rarely play together or side by side well. This watery goop play was one of those rare times when they both enjoyed doing the same thing whilst being side by side.


4. Pouring

Our last activity was to pour the goop (since it was so watery) from one container to another or into our water wheels. Great for improving their accuracy of the pouring action.



N & M: 3 years old.
E: 15 months old.
September 2011

Lessons Learnt Journal

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About the author

Pauline Pauline & Lessons Learnt Journal is all about life with kids. Pauline is an Aussie mum and teacher who shares her love for play, math games, writing and reading activities. She believes that #playmatters, values curiosity & wonder, wisdom, obedience and respect. She also needs naps. When not blogging, she may be found virtually hoarding on Pinterest, trying to decide which Instagram filter to apply, or compulsively refreshing her Facebook feed.