Ella and I recently watched The Wizard of Oz and she loved it!
We’ve been incorporating Wizard of Oz pretend play into our learning, first with Yellow Brick Road gross motor activities, and now this Melt the Witch sensory bin, a fun sensory activity for kids which also serves as a science experiment for kids.
This is a fun play on the traditional baking soda and vinegar science experiment. We’ve previously made frozen fizzy hearts and fizzy dough cupcakes with a similar recipe, but the kids never get bored of it!
This sensory bin would be great for a Halloween party, or as part of a Wizard of Oz unit study. We enjoyed it as a low-key pre-bedtime activity.
Materials for Melt the Witch sensory play:
- Black craft foam sheets
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue stick
- 4 cups baking soda
- 1 cup water
- Green food dye
- 1 cup vinegar
- Mini witches’ cauldrons
- Eye droppers
- Plastic tub or tray to contain the mess
I made my witch hats from craft foam as I couldn’t find any pre-made mini hats, but those would be a good substitute if you could them.
I made the baking soda play dough by first adding the green dye to the water (I added about 30 drops of dark green for this colour), and then slowly adding the water to the baking soda, stirring with my fingers and ensuring that the dough didn’t get too wet. I wanted it to be moldable and not too sticky.
I lined up the cauldrons on one side of the sensory bin, filled them with 1/4 cup vinegar each, and placed a glass eye dropper in each.
I lined the witches’ hats down the center of the bin, and then placed all of the green baking soda dough on the opposite side. I wanted Ella to have a chance to play with the baking soda dough before our experiment, and didn’t want to risk any of the cauldrons being tipped over.
After making several play dough witches and topping them with hats (and quoting several lines from the movie), Ella carefully filled up one of the eyedroppers with vinegar and melted her first witch!
We learned that the witches’ hats served almost like umbrellas, shielding the witches from the vinegar, and so in order to melt the witches we had to angle our hands around the hats, or remove them altogether. Little adjustments like this are great opportunities for children to analyze what they are observing and creatively problem solve.
These are essential scientific skills to develop!
Once all of the witches were melted, and the dough had done all of it’s fizzing, our melt the witch sensory bin evolved into a slushy, cool, and gritty sensory bin.
Ella said that the new bin reminded her of oobleck, but it didn’t really have those cool properties unique to oobleck (being solid when handled quickly, liquid when handled slowly). Either way, she loved it and this new sensory experience extended her play by another 20 minutes.
All together, this activity took about 5 minutes to set up, from making the witch hats to stirring together the ingredients for the baking soda dough, and it gave Ella almost an hour of Wizard of Oz sensory play!
It allowed her to practice scientific strategies and creative problem solving, as well as develop her fine motor strength with the use of the eye droppers. (Which are gripped the same way she would grip a pencil!)
Would your child love melting some witches? Have they watched Wizard of Oz yet?
Check out our other Sensory Activities for Kids here, and check out these fun baking soda dough activities from my fellow bloggers:
Rainbow Soda Dough | Lemon Lime Adventures
Music Inspired Spooky Soda Dough | Witty Hoots
Seasonal Soda Dough | Peakle Pie
‘Happy Person’ Soda Dough | Squiggles and Bubbles
Pumpkin Spice Soda Dough | FSPDT
Soda Dough Ghosts | Preschool Powol Packets