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Making magic mud

Turn potatoes into something a little less ordinary…

You will need

  • Mixing bowls
  • Wooden spoons
  • Knives
  • Chopping boards
  • Potatoes

Magic mud

  1. Wash your potatoes well. A few large potatoes will make enough magic mud to play with, but use more if you want to make lots.
  1. Chop the potatoes up into small chunks and make them as small as you possibly can. You could use a grater or food processor if you have access to these.
  2. Put the chopped potatoes into a large heatproof mixing bowl, then add enough hot water from the tap to cover them. Ensure there is suitable adult supervision whilst using the hot water.
  3. Stir the potatoes for a few minutes, and then pour the mixture through a sieve into another large bowl.
  1. Leave the water in the bowl to stand for about 10 minutes until a white layer settles at the bottom of the bowl.
  1. Pour off the water and watch as the white layer somehow stays in the bottom of the bowl!
  1. Add some more cold water and stir it into the mixture. Leave the bowl to sit for another ten minutes. After ten minutes, pour the water away again. This step will have cleaned up your magic mud.
  1. Now you’re left with your magic mud! Get your hands in, and see what’s so magic about it.

Reflection

How can a normal potato make something like magical mud? Sometimes normal things, like potatoes, can hide amazing things inside,  just like normal people can do amazing things. What other cool science experiments have you seen before?

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Hot items and water

Kettles, cookers and microwave ovens produce a lot of heat by the very nature of them. Caution is needed when in contact with items that have been heated and young people should use them under adult supervision. Use on a suitable surface, protecting it if necessary.

Don’t leave hot items unattended and make sure there’s a first aid kit (with items to treat burns/scalds) nearby.