Sep 19, 2018

Slime for the masses

This past summer, I hosted a Slime Party at my library.  My wonderful colleague Janelle had put together a set of ingredients and instructions for a party at her library earlier in the summer AND she was generous enough to come help me run my party and I was SOOOO grateful!  We had about 90 people show up for our program and it was a bit of a tight squeeze.  During the process, we learned a few lessons that I'd like to remember just in case I'm nutsy enough to host this program again, so I'm posting those tips here for myself, but also for anyone else who's looking for the simplest way to throw a slime party for a large group.

Tip #1 -- if possible, require registration!  Being surprised by a large group with a project this messy and popular is stressful for the adults running the program.  Sometimes though, your program requires a drop-in format.  If that's the case....

Tip #2 -- When buying glue, one gallon of glue will make about 15 batches of slime.  It's nice to have a choice between white glue and clear.  Plan accordingly.

Tip #3 -- Have everyone make the same base recipe for slime (though some can use clear and some use white glue) in a baggie.  I recommend the saline solution version. Do it assembly line style: each kid gets a bag, then walks down a table of ingredients, measuring and adding each to their bag, then zip it closed and mix.

Tip #3B -- TEST YOUR RECIPE.  Make it just like the kids will -- in a baggie. Do the quantities work out as written?  Does it work to squish it in the bag instead of stirring it in a bowl?

Tip #4 -- Individualize slimes by having add-ons on a separate table that kids can go to after their base slime is mixed and ready -- food coloring, glitter, fake snow, styrofoam pellets (note: have a bowl of styrofoam pellets and ask kids to put their slime into the bowl and work in some pellets that way rather than trying to pour pellets into the ziplocs), confetti, pom-poms, air dry clay (Daiso brand is often recommended), rock salt, gold leaf.... or try out your own zany ideas!

Tip #5 -- for the purposes of your assembly line, it might be useful to know that small Dixie cups are approximately 1/2 cup.

Tip #6 -- although it might be easier to mix in a bowl than in a baggie, most disposable bowls are too small for a recipe's worth of slime and if you use re-usable bowls, you'll spend an hour and a half scraping slime out of bowls and then washing them clean.  REMEMBER: SLIME SHOULD NOT GO DOWN YOUR SINK DRAIN unless you want a really slimy clog.  Slime scraps and failed slime go into the trash only!

Tip #7 -- do the program outside or at least on a moppable floor surface.  Trust me (and Janelle) on this point.

Sep 17, 2018

Evolution of an app maker: Cowly Owl

Recently, I got an e-mail from one of my favorite app makers with news of an exciting new direction for the company.  It's such an important message about how he's taken the research about kids benefiting most from apps that encourage playing with another person and turned it into a credo for his brand.  Take a minute to read it here.  I especially love the sneak peek into the different owl sketches he considered for his new logo!  Then check out my review of his newest app designed for two players, Sizzle & Stew.

Sep 14, 2018

Interview with an app maker: Yatatoy

I enjoyed this article about one of my very favorite app makers: Yatatoy!  I love learning amazing details like the fact that the three developers who created this company live in three different countries and haven't even all met face-to-face! Unfortunately, the article is only accessible via Apple mobile devices, but just in case you're reading this blog post on one of those, click the link above!  You can read my review of the Bandimal app here.

Sep 13, 2018

Wild Rumpus: Flying

 Another really common play pattern, especially in Anji Play is leaping, flying off of tall things, often onto a softened surface.  Here are some examples of jumping from this summer.

Here are some kids in Anji County, China leaping:
 Image may contain: 1 person, child, basketball court, tree and outdoor 


And here are some play stories from the Wild Rumpus about this kind of leaping:

Template developed by Confluent Forms LLC; more resources at BlogXpertise