Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll have noticed the current school craze for all things slime.  While the very thought of slime for most parents makes them shudder and thoughts of mess, sticky carpets and glitter explosions is enough to put anyone off it can be an excellent learning activity to do with your kids.

Mermaid slime

Yes, this is a thing.  The current trend for all things mermaid isn’t going away and it’s in order to get your slime to be elastic, squishy and – well – slimy you need to follow some kind of recipe.  As in baking, if you add too much or too little the end result doesn’t work. This is an opportunity to encourage them to experiment, play around with quantities, get them to use different measuring aids from cups to grams or fluid ounces and write them down.  Compare the different methods, make the same recipe one time with cups and the next with grams and see if it changes things. Our favourite mermaid slime recipe is here.  This particular version uses food colouring, which helps children to learn about colours and which colours combine to make others when mixed.

Ditch the laundry detergent

Yes, a number of the slime recipes on the internet call for Borax or laundry detergent. This is obviously not a substance you want anywhere near your child’s hands which is why it’s vital you do your research to find the best recipes that are kind to the skin and won’t cause problems, this is a great one There’s more … How many children can tell you what the symbols mean on the labels inside their clothes?  Do they know what the temperatures are, the tumble drying icon or the icons on the side of the washing tablets?  Younger kids will often want to join in with the older siblings and if they’re watching recipes on YouTube chances are they contain nasties.  Use this as a chance to educate your children on symbols around the home, what they mean, which ones are dangerous, which are safe, which help the environment which hinder it.  Life skills that are an invaluable asset to any child.

No mess, no fuss

While most parents are secretly glad the playdough, finger paint phase was left behind in nursery and you’ve started to reclaim your kitchen cupboards from the boxes of spaghetti-headed contraptions there’s still a lot to be said for messy play with older children. Yes, their motor skills are now more developed, along with their sensory explorations, but with the world moving so far into the digital arena, letting a child get messy, use their hands and play with craft materials can offer parents an invaluable bonding tool to spend precious moments with their kids. Finding ‘cool’ craft activities like making slime allows parents the chance to interact and make things with their child, without the child feeling like they’re missing out on valuable tablet or game time. So crank open the glitter and the glue and let them create slime in every shade, colour and texture possible. You never know, you may enjoy it too.