Smlwoman\’s Weblog

“Waiting for that golden moment when fear and desire die, and only the unspeakable reality of love remains. “

Dinosaurs and Black Tar December 27, 2007

Filed under: fun activities — smlwoman @ 11:12 am

My posts in this section won’t always seem like they go with the time of year.  They will just come out as I think of them or do them with my nephew or kids I nanny for. 

dinosauradventureprod.jpg This Christmas my nephew wanted dinosaurs.  I found him a bucket with five or six dinos and trees and such at Toys R Us.  It is really a great bucket especially for the great price of $10. 

While watching him play with them I remembered an activity I did with my class a few times.

We made black tar to go with the Dinosaurs.  The kids loved playing in it, and it was a simple clean up.

What you need:

Black Food color, or a mixture of many colors to get black.


Corn Starch

A large tub like a dish tub. 

Add black food coloring to one cup of water.  Make sure it is well mixed.  Next add the water to two cups of Corn starch.   You can do more or less but it is always a 2/1 ratio. 

  • Mix up the cornstarch and water using your hands. Make sure to get all of the cornstarch wet. Your tar should not be runny or powdery.
  • Questions to ask:
    • What is strange about the tar?
    • Can you make a ball out of tar? What happens if you let go of the ball?
    • What happens if you hit the tar fast and hard? What does it feel like? What happens if you just set your hand on top?
    • When does it act like a solid and when does it act like a liquid?
  • Always ask open ended questions. 

    Put the Dinos in next and stand up the trees in the Tar.  Let the kids play and explore.  This is a messy activity but cleans up easily.  It is also a ton of fun.  Be sure to get your hands in there with them.  Make the mixture with the kids so they are not so timid about putting their hands in it.  When I wads it into a ball, I hold it and then open my hands and watch it flow through my fingers like slime.  Then I wad it again and repeat the process.  It is so much fun.  Your kids will play with it for a long time.  It is also inexpensive so you don’t need to save it, just make it fresh each time.  As you can tell from some of the questions you are really doing a science project with your children, but they don’t know that.  They just think you are the coolest for letting them play with slimy tar. 

    This is not just an activity for boys, girls will love it too.  This is called Oobleck, and it can be made any color. 


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