Clubhouse Showdown: Goop vs. Gak

We have decided to have a few showdowns this week in the Clubhouse Classroom. This is the first of the battles...

Goop: Equal parts water and corn starch. Add food coloring to the water if you want colored goop. You can also make rainbows in goop with food coloring, a very cool effect we have done a few times at the Clubhouse. (Rainbows in goop will also be featured in an upcoming showdown.)

Gak: Equal parts water, liquid starch, and glue. Many swear by Elmer's glue, we used another name brand of white glue and were pleased.

First we took a poll as to who we thought the winner would be. Gak won that poll hands down. Funny enough, most of the Clubhouse Kids who voted had never really made Gak before, and I believe they were voting just based how much they enjoyed saying the word Gak :)

We set up the easel so that I could record observations, comments and anything else they deemed necessary I write down. My Clubhouse Kid (pictured to the left) enjoys tracing the letters whenever I write on the easel. He also enjoys adding his own notes, as do the others. There notes are always welcome. This is open observation after all.
With all of the ingredients for both Goop and Gak in front of us, we voted on making Gak first. We used the pots, measuring cups, and spoons from our Clubhouse Kitchen and got right to mixing.
For the Gak we first measured out and poured in 1/4 cup of glue for each individual batch. Then we added 1/4 cup of water, and a few drops of green food coloring. Slowly we stirred in 1/4 cup of the liquid starch. As soon as the mixing started the Gak began to form, and the Clubhouse Kids got silly. 
"The Gak is getting really sticky."
"The Gak is soooo stretchy!!"

Soon they dropped their spoons and let their hands get in on the action.

"The Gak is sticky, really sticky... write that down, sticky!"
"Gak gets bigger than I thought!"

They stretched it out, rolled it together, and then stretched it out again. There was a lot of pulling involved, and very long strings of the stuff everywhere.

"You can make it like a ribbon."

"I like Gak because it's sticky."

"It looks like spiderwebs!"

Gak proved to be popular for awhile, especially for the Clubhouse Kids who like a nice sticky sensory mess.

After some time outside and a quick snack, we moved on to part two of the showdown. Goop.

They measured out their water, added green food coloring and then mixed in the cornstarch. Stirring this mix wasn't as much fun as most of the Clubhouse Kids commented,"it's gets hard when you stir it."

Once all mixed up, the first major difference was noted.

"I can't pull this up, I have to dump it out..."

If you have ever made Goop (a.k.a Oobleck) before, you know that it will pour like a liquid and then harden as it sits still.

"It's sticky too, but so hard I can ride my trains on it."

"It's like a meteor shower!!"

Meteor shower? Really? No idea where some of these comments come from, but I absolutely love hearing them. When they know I am recording their observations, they certainly do observe!

"Falls like rain, but then it's hard and I can crack it. 
When I crack it, it goes back to normal."

"This is like a liquid-solid."

Liquid-solid, not only is that an accurate description of what Goop really feels like, it's also a clear connection made between this and our recent experiment with the states of matter. Oh how I love when they make connections like that!! Funny how they remember everything that they learn when they don't even realize they are learning at all. When learning is fun, all they know is they had fun! My Clubhouse Kid often asks to "go to school" at random times during the weekend, or even a few hours after the Clubhouse Kids have left for the day. All he knows is that school is fun, and he wants to be there. Quite frankly, that's exactly what Ms. Liz is here for ;)

So, who won this showdown?

My favorite comment during the voting process,

"I like Gak AND Goop, so I win!!!"

Yes, I do believe you win.

In the end though, after 2 days of showdowns with different Clubhouse Kids, Gak did win... with almost everyone voting for the slimy, stretchy stuff. 

We did have one Clubhouse Kid who clearly favored the Goop though. She spent a lot of time letting it drip into her hands, and then rolling it into balls, pinching it and poking at it. She absolutely wanted nothing to do with the Gak though, "Too sticky!"
Which wins in my book? Anything the Clubhouse Kids want to do, of course! My Goop lover shall have Goop, and Gak for the rest. If you have kids who like their sensory play sticky, and enjoy large motor movements (stretching out those arms long and wide as the Gak goes everywhere), then go with Gak. For your fine motor movement kids who like to pinch, grasp, and poke (without getting stuck in a slimy mess), go with Goop.

As far as clean up goes, Goop wins by a mile. I'm still trying to pick sticky Gak out of the carpet and off of the kitchen tools. The Goop pretty much turns to dust when it dries up and can be easily wiped up and vacuumed.

Have you tried Goop and Gak? Which one wins in your book?

The showdown continues with elephants and volcanoes tomorrow... stay tuned!

Ms. Liz

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