Ice cream, gloop, slime --- oh my!

Jul. 10, 2014 @ 06:47 AM

Eight-year-old Kaitlyn Rader plunged her small hands into what looked like a bowl of yellow, gooey rubber. The yellow “gloop” and flecks of yellow powder stuck to her skin, making her hands look like the yellow, scaly paws of a mini monster.

Decked out in a pink shirt, pink shorts and pink ponytail holder, normally Rader would have chosen to make pink gloop, but since there was no pink food coloring, she went with sunshine-y yellow.

“My second-favorite color is yellow,” Rader said with a shy smile.

Rader joined a plethora of kids Wednesday making three different messy crafts at the “Make a Mess” event at the Lenoir branch of the Caldwell County Public Library, which was so popular that a number of children were turned away. The event was part of a summer program that aims to to encourage kids to not only read throughout the summer but also learn some science.

For the gloop-making, the children stirred together corn starch, water and food coloring. Later they were challenged to determine whether the gloop qualified as a liquid, a solid, both or neither. Many were stumped. The gloop glided and swished around in the Styrofoam bowl like water, but it did not give way when the kids pressed its rubbery surface.

“It’s both,” Rader declared with certainty. “It feels liquidy and it’s hard.”

Terri Perkins, a library youth services assistant, said that she and co-worker Erica Lein had been playfully arguing about the correct answer.

“I said both,” Perkins said, “but Ms. Erica said it’s neither. So we’re arguing about that. The correct answer is supposed to be neither, but I guess it could be either. It’s a nice little mess. We’re having fun. That’s all that matters.”

At the next station, children were causing a ruckus making ice cream. In order to create the treat, the kids – but mostly their adult guardians – had to shake the ingredients in a Ziploc bag inside another Ziploc bag of ice and rock salt. Best friends Ashton Woodruff, 5, and Jaxson Poteet, 7, nearly fell from their chairs from shaking their bags so hard.

“Aah, I’m tired!” Poteet cried, collapsing against the back of his chair.

Woodruff was red in the face from shaking his bag, which eventually started leaking water from the melted ice. “It is ready?” he gasped.

Before their ice cream was finished, the boys had already decided they’d put in chocolate syrup.

“I like chocolate,” Poteet said. “And, I like chocolate rocks in it.”

Meanwhile, the rest of the group was making slime from Elmer’s glue, water and borax. When 9-year-old Sierra Sanders tried to transfer her yellow slime from the mixing bowl into a bag to take home, the slime refused to slip out of the bowl.

“I’m going to have to use my hands!” she cried.

But before she could make that much of a mess, her mom and Lein stepped in with a spoon to help her.