We make it with three simple ingredients; glue, water and liquid starch.
Then there are days where we add some extra ingredients...
The recipe for this is simple, and the Clubhouse Kids enjoy mixing it all up on their own. A bowl of warm water (colored with pink food coloring), a bowl of liquid starch, and a bowl of glue. All equal amounts. They added a little color drops to their bowls of starch and glue as well. Sure, why not?
Once all mixed up, they dig right into the concoction and start pulling out the Gak. It does take a few minutes to settle so that it's not as sticky, but the stickies don't bother them. Before long they are rolling it into balls and watching those balls "melt" away.
Of course, we said today we were adding an extra ingredient so I bravely hand over the glitter to an extra excited Clubhouse Kid, who happens to be thrilled that this Gak is totally going to match her nail polish.. :D
She pours a little, and then... a lot.
They get to work mixing it right in.
The glitter easily mixes into the Gak as the Clubhouse Kids start to talk about how it all feels,
"It's cold and sticky!"
"The glitter is like sand."
I love how they engage in these conversations, on and on observing what is happening as they mix, stretch, and create. Oftentimes when we are making something I have started the conversations with a simple question like, "What does that feel like?". The Clubhouse Kids are now one step ahead of me as they start the discussion on their own. My how they've grown ;')
Once we have everything all mixed up we decided to leave it on the table in a nice big ball and head outside for a little fun on the playground.
When we return to the Clubhouse Classroom, this is what awaits us:
It was a pink, round, sticky, glittery... blank canvas.
They look at me with big eyes that ask, what do we do with that now?
I say nothing.
"Can I see if a car can drive through that?"
Sure, go right ahead.
Another question, "I wonder if I can make a leaf mark in it?"
Try it and see.
Now they were all engaged, seeing as how this was pretty much a try anything kind of experiment.
"I bet I can cut it with a saw!"
As they looked around the classroom for what they could try next with the Gak, I just sat by and watched them explore. All sorts of different classroom items went into, on top of, and through the Gak. They talked about what they were doing, made comparisons, laughed and made a mess. A very good, healthy, educational mess.
Then they all grab some "sticks". We have all sorts of random objects available in the classroom, even sticks (skewers). They start to all work together creating a sort of Gak tapestry. It was fun to watch, and apparently very fun to do as they all remained engaged with this for quite some time.
Sure I could have had a set plan on what to do with the Gak, and I could have initiated the activity. Sure they would have enjoyed what I decided they could do. Letting them decide made all of the difference though. The Clubhouse Classroom is designed for days like this. Take anything you want, from any other part of the classroom, and see what you can do with it someplace else. No borders in this classroom. Reign freely young minds.
Gives a whole new definition to the term "sticky mess" ;)
In the end all of the sticks came out and the Gak went into a container. It was another successful Clubhouse activity that I had almost nothing to do with :D
As for the great minds behind the Gak with Sticks activity, they choose to remain anonymous...