Kids' Activity: Making Snot and Boogers

by Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder

Besides hold up glasses, what is your nose good for? One very important thing -- your nose allows you to smell. Without your nose you wouldn't know how wonderful a flower smells. Holding up your glasses and allowing you to smell the flowers are only 2 of the many reasons we have a nose. Every time you take a breath your nose is very busy doing many different things.

The nose plays a very important role in protecting the lungs. It acts as a filtering system to clean the air that you breathe. Not only does it help clean the air you breathe, your nose can actually warm the cold air and add moisture to very dry air. If you get a cold, the nose also provides a place for the bad stuff to come out. Now you see why your nose is so important. Even though it is small in size, it has many jobs to do!

What is that coming out of your nose? Blood? Mucus? Think of all the possible colors and textures of mucus that come out of noses. Blood is smooth and red. Snot can be clear or yellow or gold, even lumpy green or brown! So let's make some!

Bodacious Boogers

Materials:
• White model magic clay
• Water colors, brush and water
• wax paper

Instructions
1) Use brush and water to make a small puddle of very concentrated paint.
2) Mix white model magic clay with watercolors to make gross colors of nose discharge.
3) Be creative! Shape your clay into chunks, globs, or pools. Dry on wax paper.
4) Then fill up a tissue! Or wear your art on your sleeve for dramatic effect! Use your imagination!

Slimey Mucus

Ingredients:
• Blue gel glue
• Saturated* solution of borax in water
• 1 container, such as a coffee can or bowl
• 1 old Pyrex® or heat resistant glass measurer
• 1 quart saucepan
• Food Coloring (optional)

Let's talk about saturation for a moment before making the goo. In chemistry, saturation is the point at which a solution of a substance can dissolve no more of that substance. To help you understand, let's look at an everyday example.

Your little sister elbowed her glass of milk and it spilled on the table. You run to the dispenser, get a paper towel and lay it over the mess. That one paper towel soaked up 3/4 of the milk and then it won't hold any more. It is saturated with milk.

Our activity calls for a saturated solution of borax in water -- water with so much borax stirred in that no more will dissolve. Since hot water can hold more borax than cold water, you will heat the water to boiling when making the saturated borax solution (or have the adult helping you make the saturated solution).

Instructions:
1) To make a saturated borax solution, place 1 cup of water in saucepan and add about cup of borax.
2) Boil a few minutes until most of the borax dissolves.
3) Pour off the liquid into the heat-resistant glass measurer and save it.
4) Discard the remaining borax. Cool the solution.
5) Thin the blue gel glue with water to about a 50/50 blend. Measure the glue/water solution.
6) In the old container or coffee can, combine about two parts of the glue and water mixture and one part liquid borax solution (volume to volume). You will probably have to play with the proportions to get the best slime.
7) If it is too sticky, add more borax solution; too stringy add more glue. Add a few drops of food coloring to change the color of your slime.

Related Ideas

• Learn how to stop a nosebleed
• Experiment with the nose's role in taste
• Learn how an artificial nose works
• Find out why you should sneeze into the bend of your elbow instead of your hand.

Julie Snyder is a mom of six, interested in kids, pregnancy, birth, people and lives in the outlying Seattle area. Melissa Jaramillo is mom to many. She's passionate about building, encouraging, and strengthening families on this adventure known as parenthood!

Copyright © Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.