Sensory play is such a winner with kids but don’t forget that they will also love making the sensory material. This ooey-gooey activity was double the fun because we made the muddy oobleck together first and then enjoyed playing stuck in the mud with fine motor tools and our Family Counters.
What you need:
- Learning Resources All About Me Family Counters
- Learning Resources fine motor tools: Gator Grabber Tweezers, Handy Scoopers, Squeezy Tweezers, Primary Science Jumbo Tweezers, and Tri-Grip Tongs
- Muddy Oobleck (to make mix ½ cup cocoa powder with 1 ½ cups cornstarch, then add approx. 1 cup water, mix until the consistency is right)
- Measuring cups
- Chips and dip tray
Making the Muddy Oobleck
If you’ve never made or played with oobleck before, you sure are in for a treat. It is such a weird and mesmerizing sensory base to explore with kids. To make the muddy oobleck mix ½ cup cocoa powder with 1 ½ cups cornstarch. This is a great opportunity to get your little one working on some measuring and numeracy, as well as their fine motor skills.
Once the dry ingredients are mixed together, gradually add 1 cup of water. The consistency should change, and the end oobleck you are looking for will be brown in color, with it holding its shape when you squish it together but then returns to a liquid-like state when it is released. It is so mesmerizing to watch! My little one spent ages lifting a scoop in the air and watching it slowly flow back down into the bowl.
Prep the Tray
We used a chip and dip tray as our play space, and it worked perfectly. The Family Counters went in the middle compartment. The fine motor tools were in two other slots, and then my little one filled the other four compartments with the muddy oobleck. We were all set for our muddy play session.
Stuck in the Mud
My little one could not wait to get her hands on the contents of the tray. She was so excited to play with the oobleck that she had helped to make. At first, she wanted to experiment with sticking the Family Counters in the mud. She was fascinated as she watched them slowly sink into the mud.
When she would pull the people and animals out of the muddy oobleck, the mud would stick to their feet and slowly gloop back down onto the tray. She loved trying to completely bury the counters under the mud and then rescue them.
It was great to provide so many different fine motor tools because this encouraged so much time spent on fine motor skills development. Each tool required slightly different hand movements and encouraged problem-solving to figure out how to best use them with the strange oobleck consistency.
My little one really enjoyed using the Squeezy Tweezers and Handy Scoopers for transferring the oobleck and making it into shapes. She even decided to give some of the Family Counters mud baths.
The Final Rescue Mission
After lots of play, hiding the Family Counters in the mud and experimenting with using the fine motor tools, it was time for one final rescue mission. Together we used our hands and the tools to pull all of the remaining counters from the mud. Some of them were stuck in there pretty good!
This was such a fun and engaging activity because the play and learning were so hands-on. It can be tempting to not let your little one be part of the sensory base making, but it really adds so much to the activity. Providing a range of tools is also another little trick for helping to peak interest in the activity. The choice is a great way to help children feel they have more control and power over their play. We hope you give this one a try; you can use monster trucks, insects, or farm animals too!