silly putty. I guess I should probably point out we don't actually
make "Silly Putty" because that's some patented, copyrighted or
something, brand name. But we call it silly putty because 1st, we
have no idea what else to call it and 2nd, try explaining to a 4 year
old that it isn't really "Silly Putty".
Silly putty is easy to make but made or bought it's much worse than
playdoh, much like bubble gum. Previous adventures in silly putty
making have resulted in having to cut it out of the carpet. Other
adventures with it included very carefully and time consumingly
picking it out of a child's hair to avoid having to cut it out. Would
you believe she put it in her own hair? And no I don't know why,
according to IQ tests, the SAT, TIP, etc she is really highly gifted.
Yet here I am making it again.
It's no surprise silly putty is so messy and sticky, it's made out of
white glue. If that's not sticky enough the only other ingredient is
laundry starch. So needless to say it's messy from the second you
decide to make it. We all know different kids have different feelings
to getting messy. So we start with pouring the glue. Everyone loves
that part and I was smart enough to let everyone have their own bowl.
Next we add some starch to start. Everyone is even nicely taking
turns. Next we start to stir with a spoon. Though this seems easy we
are already starting to lose them. "This doesn't look like silly
putty", "I need more", "how long do we stir it". Now for the hard
part, kneading it with their hands. Now reactions range from "cool"
to "no way". Some quickly finish getting theirs into silly putty
while others would rather complain that it's sticky, it's not working,
and theirs is ruined.
This is where mommy gets to work out her hands, I think I kneaded at
least 4 of them. It started out as just A2, she immediately said no
way. Not that she played with it after either. She touched it then
immediately wanted to wash her hands. It's interesting that media
make toddlers out to be so messy. She even portrays herself that way
by walking around daily with her face entirely covered in something.
Yet, in reality, the second glue (or syrup or ketchup or...) comes in
contact with their hand it's the Apocalypse.
The next to need help was J4, he wasn't sure what he was supposed to
do and wasn't sure about it once he started. However once it was done
he did play and let it run through his fingers.
S6 would have patiently done it all day but I helped her get finished
up and she was fine with me helping. But once done she wasn't all
that impressed with it.
B11 pouted and whined about how she needed more of this or that. She
was certain her's was ruined. She adamantly did not want help.
Though, she did enjoy kneading it and had she not been so stuck on it
being ruined I sm sure she would have had fun. After a 5 minute
ordeal of how unfair life is she let me help and had a lightbulb
moment that her's was fine. When I wouldn't let her take it in the
living room or bedroom, though, she was done with it. But that's ok,
my carpets have thanked me and I won't have to listen to hubby rant.
E14 is the only one I didn't have to do, in true science loving
fashion she enjoyed herself. Though she remembers our previous
adventures in silly putty whereas some others didn't.
Yes, that means we went through all that for nothing. It didn't even
buy me 5 minutes of play. Let's just hope E14 gets a good grade for
the project she used it in.
How to make your own putty: officially the recipe calls for 2 parts
white (or school) glue to 1 part liquid laundry starch. However I
pour in some glue, add a bit of starch, work it in, add more, work it
in until it's the consistancy I want. I do this because it doesn't
really "mix", you have to work or knead the starch into the
. Plus, it seems an exact measurement never yields the same results.
Silly putty is so much like kids. Making silly putty never happens the same way. The amount of each ingredient is always slightly different, just like each kid needs slightly different things. Despite the same technique used, each silly putty has a slightly different result, just like siblings all turn out differently once grown. Silly putty is moldable and reactive to the person using it yet it will always be stretchy and sticky. Just like you can mold a child but can't change their personality. If you add too much starch you get slime, not enough and all you really have is a runny glue. There is comparison to kids from making to playing with silly putty. Just as you can clearly see each child's difference as they make and play with silly putty.
I wrote this post last year and never got around to posting it. This weekend we made it again at an event at the university. It's interesting to look back and see how the kids had grown but their "silly putty personality" and reactions didn't change at all.