Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ghost Mud

I don't think we need a lot of words for this one: twenty-four rolls of discount toilet paper, nine 4-year-old boys, and instructions that we need to get all the paper off of all those cardboard tubes.

We tried rolling them down ramps we built with blocks, unfurling them on rhythm sticks we used as spools, throwing them across the room, working as a team, releasing it from the top of the loft, but just holding it in our hands and turning it was by far the most popular.

When we were done -- or rather when Teacher Tom decided it was time to move on, because it was becoming increasingly clear that we weren't going to be done with this until everyone was crying and the TP was in itty-bitty pieces -- we worked together to move it into the sensory table.

This is where we performed the "experiment" of adding small scoops of Ivory Snow and water, then mixing it until we had "clean mud," better known during the Halloween season as "ghost mud."

We've done this for 9 straight years. It's always fun to make, a process we stretch out over 2 days and at least 2.5 classroom hours, but once it's there in the sensory table, all slippery, gooey, and smelling of good wholesome soap, the kids abandon it, most of them saying, "It's too messy." They never abandon real mud. 


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Unknown said...

Oh My Gosh! The things you come up with Mr. Tom! You are just full of great "experiments" and awesome ideas! What a hoot this Ghost Mud is! I can't wait to give it a try myself!
Where did you find the Ivory Soap? I didn't think they still made it. No babies in the house anymore, but I used to use the "flakes" for projects long ago. So this is the newer version of Ivory Soap, right?
PS I so enjoy your humor, wit and insights via your blog!:) Way to Rock It!!

(V.Kerr) School Time Adventures said...

I love it! This ghost mud looks like a must do.

Juliet Robertson said...

Hi Tom

This looks good - is Ivory Snow a type of soap?

Saya said...

My kids love "clean mud" too!

Juliet, Ivory Snow is I am assuming shaved bar soap (Ivory is a brand) because I use them too.

Play for Life said...

That's so cool Tom. Our children are going through a very sensory stage at the moment and this one is on our list for this week! We've never tried it before ... in fact we only heard about it a little while ago. It's great to see your children having fun with it, even it it was before the "mess"!

Donna :) :)

Let the Children Play said...

I think this is definately another one to add to our "to do" list. We have lots of new young 3's in our group at the moment, so sensory exploration is big on our agenda.

Amy A @ Child Central Station said...

Any recommendations on where to find Ivory Snow these days? I've looked everywhere locally and have not been able to find it in recent years. We have had to shave bars of Ivory Soap to make our clean mud. It is also a fun process, as I found some great used cheese graters we use, but I miss the Ivory Snow for a variety of projects.

Teacher Tom said...

Maybe we're just lucky here in Seattle, but I buy Ivory Snow (a laundry detergent without all the extra chemicals) in most of our local supermarkets. You can probably order it online somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Ghost Mud...I love it!!

kristin said...

just boys?

this looks like great fun, but it's probably impossible without a sensorary table

Anonymous said...

We unravel the tp out on the grass in a big tp throwing. Our clean mud has a little bit of grass in it, but that has never disappointed the kids.

Anonymous said...

You can microwave a bar of ivory soap for 1 1/2- 2 min.. the kids will love how it foams up, let sit for a minute then take the foam and crumble it... Bam! Ivory Snow. :) more sensory and science... Only works with Ivory.