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May 22, 2015

Differentiating Sloppy Slimy Fun Week

Differentiating Sloppy Slimy Fun Week 

*Please note* This blog is intended for campers (ages 3+) but toddler teachers may find some ideas easy to adapt. Toddler teachers are also encouraged to review the toddler-specific differentiation ideas found in the Curriculum Notes.

Sloppy slimy fun isn’t just about the mess! Opportunities to measure, experiment, create, and enjoy are all presented as teachers facilitate meaningful exploration of goopy and interesting materials. In the examples below,  the focus in on “more than just the goop.”  What skills can students develop throughout the week? How can we differentiate the activities for children in our care? Let’s find out!

Measuring Concepts

  • To challenge children who quickly tire of messy play, or who need a literacy boost, provide children with a “recipe card” (or challenge them to make their own!) and the corresponding mixing cups and allow them to mix up their own batch of playdough, oobleck, or flubber! Students can experiment with the measurements and observe what would happen if they added too much of one ingredient to the mixture.

ScieIMG_0203 copyntific Inquiry

  • In the Weighing Goop center on Monday and Tuesday of this week’s curriculum differentiate this activity and further encourage the process of scientific inquiry. When students are making observations, challenge them to go beyond the process of noticing and make a hypothesis about the materials that they are weighing. If they mix ½ cup flour with ½ cup water do they think it will be heavier or lighter than 1 cup of water? Why? Record their hypothesis and then encourage them to carry out their experiments.

Sloppy Slimy Artistry

  • Artists experiment with new and innovative mediums to create an exciting masterpiece to share with the world. Provide students with sloppy slimy materials to create art! Mix up some oobleck, add paint, and see what happens as you add it to the easel. The Open Ended Easel on Friday provides opportunity for just that! Once your sloppy slimy masterpieces have dried, extend this activity and compare the texture of the materials. Did they dry bumpy, smooth, scratchy? Allow your students to lead the discussion and decide!
  • Some students may not be willing to dig in and touch the sloppy slimy sensory material. Remember to always provide an alternative. Place a piece of paper in a zip loc bag and let them create art while squishing around materials that way. Another way to differentiate this activity for children who are hesitant is to provide materials that they can use as an extension of their body. For example: a popsicle stick or straw.

More Sloppy Slimy OptionsIMG_6023

  • Soapy Slime- 1 cup of soap flakes, 3 cups warm water, food coloring. See an example
  • Sponge Toss- Soak a sponge in water and play a game of sponge toss. Increase or decrease the distance between two students in order to differentiate the difficulty of this activity!
  • Try a Jell-O and vinegar experiment. See an example
  • Ice Cube Melt- Divide players into two teams and line up. First player on each team is given an ice cube. The child rubs the ice cube between their hands for as long as possible to make it melt. When he/she gets too cold, the ice cube is passed to the next child in line. The first team to melt the ice cube wins!
  • Freeze some Jell-O and pla  ! Find out more
  • Find more sensory options here and in your curriculum implementation manual.

Helpful Hints for Sloppy Slimy Efficiency

Sometimes sloppy slimy fun can seem a little overwhelming. Thankfully, there are a number of tips and tricks that should alleviate the stressful moments so that you and your kiddos can enjoy your time together.

  • Utilize small groups- This allows for those meaningful and powerful interactions all-the-while making it possible to stay attuned to student behavior.
  • Always wear smocks during messy play- It’s a given – children are going to get messy this week. One way to prevent unsightly stains and extra messes is to make sure all of your students are wearing a smock.
  • Line the table with bulletin board paper or newspaper- This helps to contain the mess and allow for easy clean up. Once the center is done being utilized this makes it simple to take the paper off of the table and voila!- cleanup is a breeze.
  • Take activities outside- Taking activities outside provides an ideal space for sloppy slimy play!

Contributed by Toni LaMantia- Education Specialist