As an only child, my daughter, Cam, is always on the lookout for imaginary friends; monsters are amongst her favourite fictional creatures to befriend. And more often than not, I’m also hoodwinked into bringing those characters to life with a bit of role play. (e.g. ‘Will you be my friend, Monster?’)
So, when I first saw this book about a boy who tries to invent a monster friend, I was very eager to read it to her.
Although obviously a book about monsters and friendship, the inventions in Monstersaurus were what actually captured Cam’s attention and interest. It lead us to experiment with a range of ingredients to see what weird and wonderful concoctions we could create ourselves.
You can read more about the Monstersaurus here.
Our Science Lab
Cam was mostly fascinated by the Bogablob. I remembered my students bringing slime back from their science class, and I thought it would be a wonderful activity to help my daughter connect with Monty, the main character in Monstersaurus. She was so excited when I mentioned that we might be able to create our own Bogablob.
I trawled the internet for instructions, but because Cam is only two, I didn’t feel comfortable letting her play with Borax and PVA glue.
I came across this cornflour slime recipe on the CSIRO website. The outcome wasn’t exactly what I’d initially had in mind, but it certainly allowed us to learn together.
All you need is:
- Food Dye
- Mixing Bowl
- Lab coat and goggles are a must too :)
We slowly added water to the cornflour until it created a thick paste.
This slime was absolutely fascinating. You will have to give it a try yourself because I can barely describe what we created. At times the slime acts like a solid, and at other times like a liquid.
After making the cornflour slime, Monstersaurus became the book of the week, and there was lots of talk about inventions and wanting to try more.
Rather than following a recipe, I thought I’d give Cam the chance to experiment herself. Deb, who writes at Science @ Home has put together this wonderful list to help you create your own Home Made Chemistry Set.
From Deb’s list, I placed the following items on a table for Cam:
- Orange Juice
- Baking Soda
- Cream of Tartar
- Food Dye
- Talcum Powder
- Paddle pop sticks
- Plastic plates
and simply let her explore on her own.
Cam made some wonderful observations:
‘It feels warm’
‘It has changed colour’
‘It feels sticky’
‘What’s this for?’
The food dye was most definitely her favoured ingredient. I think for her age it was probably the ingredient that brought about the most obvious change.
Once she’d used up all of the ingredients, we discovered that she’d actually created her own finger paint. How’s that for an invention?
The aftermath: evidence of a successful activity