It’s A Gakky Kind Of Day
|Mixing it up|
|What it looks like at the beginning stages of kneading|
I was first introduced to Gak when Hayden was a wee little toddler, not yet walking, talking or feeding himself and our daughter was an infant. We were in a sensory integration playgroup for adoptive children and the brilliant Occupational Therapist, Debbie, who taught us oh-so-much-about-brain-and-all-things-sensory/behavior introduced it to us and all of us parents thought it was manna from heaven for our kids. Our son, who was only 16 months older than our new baby girl, had super low muscle tone and lots of texture aversions. The first time he ever beared weight on his legs, he was standing against a kidney-shaped table with his other little friends, hand elbow-deep in Gak. If I could find that picture I’d post it here–it’s precious. So what was happening in Hayden’s little body at that time was that his mind was so focused on the feeling and texture of the gak, that he forgot about his legs for a few minutes and stood strong (albeit his hips and knees were “fixed” in position, definitely not optimal, but it was a starting point and I don’t think any PT would mind too much!). As soon as our daughter was old enough to put her hands in the stuff, she did, with our help and LOVED it from the first second. And the rest, they say, is Gak History.
Fast forward a decade and we still love the stuff. Our daughter was having a rather tough morning dealing with some sensory stuff (often we can never tease out of the soup exactly what is going on at any given moment). She had already bounced a little on the trampoline and kicked a plastic ball against the hedge and the back of the house until she felt better (and she was rewarded with beads for letting her dad and I help her through that “chaosy” moment and then taking our suggestions). We read a little bit more in ancient art history (you can never know too much about high and low relief, cameo, plaster casts, and so on…) and then I suggested making some Gak. Her eyes instantly lit up and we got to work. Of course we made it blue, because blue, well blue is just simply THE BEST COLOR EVER, according to the Aspie.
Here’s the recipe:
In one medium blow, mix:
*one cup of hot water
*one cup of white glue
In another medium bowl, mix:
*one cup of hot water
*1TBSP Boraxso (or Borax) hand cleaner
* Add 2-3 drops of food coloring if you wish
Mix the two bowls together using your hands! Be sure to knead in all of the water. It may take 5-10 minutes of kneading.
Store gak in an airtight container, and keep for up to a month.
Fun things to do with GAK
*Hide toys or small objects (marbles work really well)
*Use a straw to blow gak bubbles and make silly noises (blowing through a straw is a VERY good sensory thing to do when a child is disorganized or unable to control him/herself-it centers the brain)
*Squeeze, stretch, jiggle and poke
Things to AVOID with GAK:
*GAK is not yummy or edible
*If left sitting on a flat surface, gake will find its way to the floor and make a MESS
*Keep away from carpet and upholstery
|“Squishing it is SO much fun!”|