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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The power of play in developing children’s skills

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One of the many significant things I’ve learned during my childhood is that learning isn’t limited to the four corners of a classroom or within the pages of a book. Sometimes, there’s some wisdom in playing with our friends or our toys. 

My daughter, a curious toddler at two, enjoys sensory toys like clay, Pop Its, Kinetic Sand, and slime. I love seeing her little hands build, explore, and discover new things from playing with her toys. It eventually piqued my interest in what she could learn from these items–starting with slime. 

I grew up watching Nickelodeon, which means I know how some people use slime for pranks and other mischief. 

The author’s daughter getting her hands on a batch of slime

I also bought some early versions that are primarily watery. 

Many slime product today are more intact and colorful and have many textures. And with that comes other numerous advatages for children.

Basic chemistry for kids

Nowadays, slime kits don’t always come pre-made. Others include the ingredients required, like an activator and base, to make the sticky, slippery, stretchy stuff kids (and kids at heart) love. It then teaches kids a fun way to learn how to mix the correct amounts of components to get the ideal consistency for their slime. 

Through the process, kids can also understand how chemical reactions work, even with a simple explanation. Mixing the slime activator and base creates a non-Newtonian fluid that’s neither solid nor liquid. The fluid has no shape and can change its elasticity depending on how people use it. Slime can pass through a child’s fingers or bounce like a ball.

Slime stimulates the senses and sparks creativity

As mentioned, slime comes in different textures, depending on the ingredients people put in. More activator makes it firmer and less sticky while more base makes it stretchier, and a balance between the two usually results in something in the middle. However, some like to take things to the next level and add small toys or charms to change the consistency or add drops of food coloring to make it vibrant, thus giving the kids something new to experience.

Kinetic sand, like slime, has become a favorite sensory toy among children

Other than the texture, other slime products have scents like bubblegum, chocolate, when playing with slime can head over to Gootopia, where there’s much in store for slime enthusiasts. Their first store is in SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. But starting June 10, residents in the north can enjoy Gootopia’s activities with its newly opened branch in SM Fairview, Quezon City.

Besides large batches of slime that kids can get their hands on, there are other fun activities to get their minds and bodies moving. For instance, there’s a giant hamster wheel in the middle of the room to test the kids’ endurance, a labyrinth game to test motor and cognitive skills, and a sandbox filled with kinetic and vanilla, among other fragrances. The list goes on, so consumers have more than enough choices.

There’s no definitive way how to create and play with slime. It all boils down to what the kids prefer working with. But when they’ve finished making the slime, they can let their imaginations run wild and do what they will. Kids can stretch it into ropes, roll it into a ball, or create different shapes.

Children can accomplish and learn much from the stuff, so some parents consider it a must-have for their kids’ toy boxes.

In the meantime, those who want their kids to have a more holistic experience filled with kinetic sand to encourage free play.

A create-your-own slime station is also available, where guests can choose the base, color, and smell and add charms to it later.

The author and her daughter standing under the Rainbow Dunk attraction to get slimed

There’s also something for adults because they can also participate in fun games or get slimed–a la Nickelodeon style. Fair warning, the slime can stain your clothes and skin despite the protective gear, so it’s best to bring an extra pair of clothes. But other than that, you can cross getting shot with slime from a cannon off your bucket list.

Book your visit at www.book.gootopia.com or visit the site for the walk-in price.

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