Evelyn loves sensory play. I think that most kids her age do, unless they are averse to the new sensations. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to provide a sensory experience in your home for very little money. I just purchased a plastic wash tub at Walmart for a few dollars and that’s where she plays with most of the materials I give to her. In this instance, I happened to have several bars of Ivory soap around because I use it to make my own laundry detergent and I decided to try this fun activity using a bar of the classic soap.
First we put the bar of soap in the microwave (in a bowl) for about 2 minutes. We watched as it grew and grew into a big, puffy cloud of soap. After it cooled slightly, I put it on an old cookie tray and let Evelyn play with it for awhile. I encouraged her to break it up. I gave her some tools to use, but it took her a few minutes to get accustomed to the texture of it and to figure out how she could manipulate it. Awesome discovery and problem solving opportunity!
The next day, we added some water to the soap pieces and I gave her a whisk and some scoops. This was definitely the coolest part! After the soap had some time to dissolve, the mixture became slimy and soft and slippery and gloppy. Evelyn described it by saying, “It looks like slobbery mayonnaise!” Michael described it as “viscous” (gotta introduce those new vocabulary words!)
We got about 3 days worth of play out of this. We probably could have kept it around longer but it started to get bits of dirt and grass in it, so I just decided to get rid of it.
Have you tried any new activities with your little ones?
*Just a few words of warning about this activity: At one point in the process after we microwaved the soap and before we added water, the cloud became very dusty and I was concerned about her breathing in the particles, so we stopped playing at that point. Also, we did play with the slimy, soapy mixture indoors and it made our linoleum floor very, very slippery. Please use caution and place a towel down if you plan to play on a hard, smooth surface.*