Teen Programs: Gooey Creations

The 4-1-1:

When: June 18th & 19th, 5:00 – 6:00pm
Resources: Slime recipe #1, Bouncy Ball recipe #1 (although this turned more into slime for me) & Bouncy Ball Recipe #2; PDF I used w/small modifications
How many teens: 16 teens + 2 adults; 12 teens @ Branch, 4 teens + 2 adults @ Main
Cost/Supplies: approx $50; I do have leftovers supplies of almost everything and could easily do this program again.

  • Clear Glue; $15.98
  • Liquid Starch (2); $17.19
  • Borax; $4.99
  • Corn Starch (2); $4
  • Elmer’s Glue; already had
  • Food Coloring; already had
  • Bowls (2); $4
  • Measuring Spoons (2); $3
  • Spoons: $1
  • Baby food jars/something to put the slime in

The run-down:

I did this one a bit differently from day one to day two, so I’ll try to cover them both.

Day 1:

I divided the room into 3 tables/stations, where each one was a different recipe. I put the materials into bowls and set them out with a stack of papers that had all the recipes/instructions on them. I was expecting 10 – 20 teens so I knew they would have to work mainly on their own with me bouncing from table to table.

As the teens came in I showed them examples of each project and let them go at it. Some were able to do work on their own without a problem, but the majority had trouble with the directions. Even though the instructions clearly said bowl 1 and bowl 2 they still had issues; most of them put the borax straight on the glue instead of mixing into water first, which meant they lost the whole project and had to start over.

In the end, everyone got to make at least 2 projects. The Slime #1 almost everyone walked away with, but the other recipes were a bit of a hit and miss.

Day 2:

Thanks to the chaos in day 1, I decided to do my set-up different. Since there were only 4 teens, I walked through the projects with them step by step. This way ran much smoother. I let them decide which recipes we did and in the hour we managed to do two of them. The Slime #1 probably only takes about 10 mins, but the bouncy balls take a good 15-30 mins due to how slow they harden/dry out. I did a lot of the measuring as well, which helped cut down on materials being wasted and being splattered all over. This one was definitely more laid back and the teens had a good time chatting back and forth and we made the slime and bouncy balls.

 

Take-away/lessons learned:

  • My teens do much better when I’m walking them through the instructions step-by-step. While I love the flexibility that stations offer, I should have done both sessions where everyone followed along with me.

  • The bouncy balls don’t really stay in the ball shape very well. When you set them down, they will start to flatten on a table. Having plastic easter eggs to put them in would have helped them hold their shape as they dried out/firmed up.

  • To be honest, I didn’t like the recipes for the bouncy balls all that much. Had I tried them out much sooner, I would have changed to the bouncy ball recipes that use alcohol. Talking with a co-worker she had used a similar recipe in the past with good success.

  • This program works so much better if you have a kitchen/available sink! It is doable without one, but everything runs smoother with one, especially when you factor in gooey hands that need to be washed!

  • Also, plastic table cloths are a godsend for cleaning up.  I was able to scoop them up and throw everything away at once. It saved tons of time I would have spent scrubbing the tables clean.

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