Friday, October 29, 2010

Yucky, sticky, saucy, chunky ... Polymers!

So~ our latest review item from the TOS Crew was YUCKY!!!!

Really, I'm not kidding!!! Just take a look at this:
Buckets of Snow
Now, this stuff isn't too terrible... actually.... it's pretty cool(but not as cold as snow).... little tiny balls! Looks like slush! 
Buckets of Chunky
This stuff is pretty neat! (Stay tuned for more photos... my kids liked this a lot! )

Buckets of Saucy
Well.... it was "Saucy"... not nearly as exciting as the others, 

But THIS.... This.... THIS is.... YUCKY! Sticky! Gooey! GROSS!

Buckets of.. ewww...... Sticky gooo!
Buckets-O-Fun sent TOS Crew members sample sizes of these 4 "YUCKY"  polymer products to play with and examine. Along with the samples we received some sheets that gave ideas for games (Many of which would work best in group situations, and with larger quantities of "yuck"), and some experiments. The most exciting observations had to do with the textures "Before" and "After" adding water.

We decided on the advice of others, to take this experiment outside on our front porch, and to use disposable containers, because clean-up could be... well.... yucky! So, we set up some plastic containers:
Snowy Yuck Crystals
Saucy Yuck Crystals

sticky yuck crystals
The saucy yuck had the appearance of veryfine sugar crystals
the snowy yuck looked like table salt crystals

chunky yuck crystals
the sticky yuck kind of looked like finely shredded coconut
and the chunky yuck looked like rock salt crystals

We added a cup of water to each (Oops... didn't totally follow directions... note: sticky yuck wants to be stirred.. but it turned out ok in the end), and were amazed that the saucy yuck and the snowy yuck absorbed the water almost immediately! Wow! The sticky yuck kind of hung out on the bottom of the container (hence the note... stir it as you add the water... silly me!), and the chunky yuck expanded VERY slowly. After about an hour the chunky yuck was still only about a centimeter in size, which is still pretty big, considering the initial size of the crystals.

We ended up with a number of neighborhood boys checking this stuff out and  sticking their hands into our containers of yuck. We talked about how this is the sort of stuff that makes disposable diapers work, and I asked what other sorts of applications it could be used for. I got answers like "Tons of "Snowy yuck" in my back yard so I can snowboard in the summer..." Boys~ gotta love 'em!
I asked them about arrid ecosystems, and then they started to get the picture. :)

The snowy yuck was the neatest in my estimation, although I added a little too much water, and we ended up with a "Slushy" consistency, but it was pretty cool to see those tiny balls of mostly water.

Sticky yuck 2Sticky Yuck 3Of course, the sticky stuff won hands down for most popular, and grossest. I think I may get the cool mom on the block award for actually putting my hands in the stuff and playing with it. Once I worked it for awhile it started to absorb the water quite nicely, in spite of my not following directions, and boy... is it sticky~ see for yourself!

Of course the boys immediately decided this would be fun to take to school... "Hey, teacher? I need a tissue!" (But, nope... it all stayed at our house in its container) Side note: my 13 yo daughter was interested in "looking" but was not inclined to touch any but the chunky and snowy yuck...

The chunky yuck took hours to fully hydrate, and was most amazing in it's expansion properties. Here is a picture that shows the expanded chunk, an un-hydrated crystal and a quarter to show relative size.
Expanded chunky yuck

If this looks like something your tactile learners or scientific-minded children might be interested in, you can read some other TOS Crew Reviews, and then head on over to Buckets-O-Fun, where you can pick up a pound of Yuck for $16-$20. If you would like to check it out first hand before buying, you can email for a sample.

If you are involved in scouts, co-op, youth groups, or field day, this might be an interesting product to check out, and while you're at Buckets-O-Fun you might want to check out their inflatable and water fun items as well.

Caution: I wouldn't recommend this for anyone that is "mouthy" (3 yo or under, or any other "mouthy" kids), as it is dangerous to ingest. Buckets-O-Fun offers a pdf outlining their YUCK safety guidelines (Mostly common sense, but worth reading).

As always, I hope that this review is useful to you as you choose where to best spend you homeschooling budget.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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