Mad Scientists in the Kitchen

Fizz, Boom, Read! Since our Summer of Reading program this year is all about science, we decided to turn the library into a laboratory today! We became mad scientists here at Montbello, and cooked up some super-easy, super-fun creations that you can make in your own kitchen. We made glitter playdough and slimy gak to play with, with ingredients that you probably already have at home. The best part? Making these recipes with your children gives you the perfect opportunity to introduce basic science concepts in a fun, engaging way. Ready? Here we go:

To make your own playdough:

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

1/2 to 1 cup water

1 tbsp. cooking oil

food coloring and/or glitter

Simply mix the dry ingredients (salt and flour) first, and then add the food coloring and oil to the water. Finally, add the water mixture to the dry mixture, and stir to your heart's content. If it's too sticky, you can add more flour. If it is too dry, you can add more oil and water. Making playdough (or following any recipe) is a great chance to let your children experiment with fractions and measurement terms; you can talk about the difference between half and whole, as well as the measurements used in cooking!

To make your own slimy gak:

8 oz bottle of school glue

1 tsp Borax (a detergent booster, found at many grocery stores for only a few dollars)

1/2 cup warm water

food coloring and/or glitter

Dissolve the Borax in the warm water (a great opportunity to explain the properties of solutions to your kiddos). Then, add the food coloring-perhaps you'd like to mix colors, and discuss the difference between primary and secondary colors with your little scientists. Now, empty the entire glue bottle in a separate bowl, and begin adding the water mixture slowly. The Borax creates a chemical reaction with the glue, forming what is called a polymer, or a long chain of molecules with putty-like properties. You can add more Borax and water to see how it changes the mixture, too!

These crazy creations keep well in sealed plastic bags, and can be freshened up with more water if they get dry. Thanks for cooking with us today! How about turning your own kitchen into a laboratory? We'd love to hear what you like to make with your kids!

Written by Shanna on June 4, 2014


Elaine C on June 4, 2014


Love that science - and in such a great, gooey way!
Thanks for the recipes!

Cori J on June 5, 2014


Love that you turned the library into a laboratory!!

Anonymous on July 12, 2014



Ayesha on January 20, 2017


Thank you so much for the recipes

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