After our little flurry of Snow the other day, I thought I would do a fine-motor and messy play activity with my girls, so I thought the perfect activity would be playing with Cornflour and Water to make our own SNOW!
Depending on how much water you add, cornflour takes on a number of different consistencies and properties, so it is perfect for sensory messy play as well as developing fine motor skills and even teaching Science, so that is a lot of skill sets ticked with just one activity!
Before getting to the fluffy, snow stage (a sort of powdery material which is mouldable to small extent, a bit like sand) we had fun exploring the other properties of the magical mixture of Cornflour&Water which like snow appears to melt and looks liquid, but then (unlike snow) becomes solid again!
When you have the consistency correct (just keep adding water a little at a time, or more cornflour if you get carried away) you create a NON-NEWTONIAN FLUID:
– The large Cornflour particles are suspended in the water, they are floating around so it creates a sort of SLIME liquid! This is because the particles are packed close together but they are still able to move around. When you leave the mixture to sit on the tray or just sit in your hands it appears to melt because the particles have time to move past each other. However, when you pick some up from the tray, or try to make a ball, the sudden pressure forces the water to flow quickly away, but the cornflour particles don’t have enough time to move out of the way, so they stay temporarily packed like a solid.
Create your own Melting Snowballs! – By using Cornflour and Water to make a liquid that is also a solid (a Non-newtonian fluid) you can create ‘magical melting snowballs’.
– Try to make a ball by scooping up the mixture and rolling it in the palms of your hands, the pressure will make it solid and keep it in the shape of a ball, but as soon as you stop rolling it, it will ‘melt’ and trickle back through your fingers.
After we had lots of fun with this, I added more cornflour to get a more fluffy dry material and we added some blue food colouring too.
Want to have a go yourself?
All you need is Cornflour (I picked up a box at Asda for 75p), some water and a tray (I picked up a tray at Asda for £1), you can also add some food colouring if you like.
Worried about the mess?
Don’t worry, it mostly stays on the tray and any drops that don’t will dry up and can be easily wiped up or hoovered. It really isn’t as messy as it looks (in terms of cleaning up).
Have a go and make your own Magical Melting Snowballs!