Each week I dread opening my daughter’s homework folder as in there will be her spelling list. She’s in year 1 in the UK or 1st grade in the USA and this is the first time we have ever had spellings with her. The spellings aren’t terribly hard not like for my son but for her, they are a real challenge. Take this week’s list High, Light, Night, Right, Pie, Lie, Tie, Cry, Dry and Fry they all have an I sound in them but each is formed differently. So after talking with her teacher, she suggested maybe we try some sensory spelling practice and suggested using gloop or oobleck. Now we haven’t made this in forever probably since my kids entered preschool – the last time I posted about using it was back in 2012 with our stuck in the gloop post and idea for small world animal play. So it was time to dust off the recipe card and make it again. So here’s our Valentines themed Oobleck Recipe (Gloop recipe for those in the UK) and how we turned it into some sensory spelling practice and then fine motor play with the kids.
Gloop Recipe/ Oobleck Recipe
Ingredients for your Valentines Gloop Recipe
2 cups cornflour/cornstarch
1 to 1 and a 1/4 cups of water
Red liquid food colouring
Coloured Glitter – we used pink, purple, red and silver
Hearts and Stars confetti
Making Valentines Gloop
- I have a designated baking tray that we use for any small messy and sensory play – it’s a good size and both children can fit their hands in it at the same time so into the tray I added the cornflour.
- Add in the water and mix
- It’s really strange to mix and you will find that you need to use your hands to do it.
- It’s at the right consitency when you lift it it’s solid and then turns back into the liquid. It’s because it’s a non-newtonian fluid – it’s liquid when it’s poured but apply a force and it becomes solid.
- Add in your food colouring and mix
- THEN – glitter it up, add in the confetti and get ready to practice those spellings or PLAY – this gloop would be ideal for your preschoolers, toddlers and for anyone that needs some fine motor practice as it’s great to work those hand muscles.
Related article – Ideas for Valentines Sensory Play
Sensory Spelling Practice in Valentines Oobleck
Start by writing out the spellings onto pieces of paper. With the Valentines theme I did little hearts on the i’s which T loved to see.
Now place by the tray of Valentines Gloop and start to write the words.
Unlike with the use of a salt tray – check out this Valentines Salt Tray for spelling practice from The Imagination Tree for an alternative idea – using Oobleck as the material to write in the words will disappear, however writing creates different synpases in the brain than reading, saying or even moving objects around.
Have you ever noticed that if you are a frequent typer your fingers know the order that they need to move in to write the words the same applies for writing the words out. Because of the force you need to apply to even get the gloop to move it’s just another way in the aresnal of helping your child learn to spell.
More ideas to support spelling homework – although all these ideas are for preschoolers they would work fantastically swapping the letters for words from the spelling lists.
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Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.