First Scissor cutting

Two year olds love scissors.  It is fun for them to try and cut things.  I think babies especially like them because parents are always putting them up high where they can't get to them!

Today I let Gracie explore with scissors using GAK.  GAK is something I have never heard of until I read this post at Let Kids Create a bit ago.  GAK is a bit like play dough in that it can be separated and then comes back together but it is also a bit like slime' only more mold-able.  It is awesome!  

To Make GAK you need:

4 oz elmers glue
1/3 tsp borax

I doubled my recipe since my bottle of glue was 8 oz. This is an easy recipe to just make lots and lots of.  Perfect for classrooms and preschools.

  • First squeeze the entire contents of glue into a bowl.  
  • Then Fill the glue bottle with water and shake to mix it a little.
  • Next squeeze out the water into the same bowl and mix together. 
  • After this mix 1/4 cup of water and 1/3 teaspoon of borax in another dish.  
  • Mix this together as much as you can and then pour into the glue mixture.  
  • The mixture will turn into the GAK rather quickly.

  • Mine was a bit too slimy so I added more borax and kept mixing.  
  • Soon it was perfect and ready for exploring.  

  • I made the mixture into a snake shape and handed Grace some scissors.  

She began by poking the mixure at first.  
She tried using the scissors with both hands.
Eventually she picked some up and tried to cut.
After a lot of cutting she started making new snake shapes.
and got better 
and better
 I was very amazed at how this really helped Grace with her scissors skills.  She played with this for about 15 minutes and then for another 1/2 hour later in the day.  I found towards the end she looked like she was very comfortable with the scissors.

Right after using the GAK we washed our hands.  GAK is not safe for consumption and is not safe if you have children who put things in their mouths still.  It is great with parental supervision for a fun activity that has many many more ways to explore it.  


  1. What a great idea to start teaching with scissors! The GAK looks like so much fun.

  2. Thanks for the note about not safe to eat. My 25 month old is still mouthing objects and still wants to eat playdough. I appreciate your forsight, because I wouldn't have thought about this and would have made it tonight for tomorrow!

  3. What could you use if you dont have borax powder?

  4. @anonymous: I don't know another way to make this without borax. The borax is a compound. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borax. There really isn't a substitute. But you can always do the cutting with play dough or make silly dough. Here is a recipe in a Kohl book for silly dough. Mix 4 tablespoons of liquid starch and 8 tablespoons of white school glue. Let set for five minutes. Kneed until starch is absorbed and let the kids at it.

    If you are having a hard time finding borax look in the laundry section of your supermarket. It is really inexpensive. Liquid starch also is found in the laundry section of the store or at school supply stores too.

  5. What a brilliant way to practice cutting!! Love it :-)

    @anonymous - I google borax and was able to order some online!

  6. Laura,
    This is such a brilliant idea. Some cutting practice as well as sensory play.
    And then, it could be great for some chemistry fun for a 5 year old in my home.. :)

  7. We did this recently as well. Cutting GAK is an easy medium for learners!

  8. How fun, we used to make this when the kids were little and called it Flubber. What a great thing to use with scissors, children do love cutting, what a fun sensory activity as well.

  9. fun stuff! I have not made GAK but this looks a must try! :) What a fun way to explore cutting

  10. We make gak/slime with elmers school glue and starch.
    One Part Elmers Glue
    One Part Liquid Starch
    A few drops of food color of your choice to add some color!
    (For each pile of slime you see in these photos we used 1/2 cup of glue and 1/2 cup of liquid starch)
    measure out a half cup glue into a bowl, add food coloring mix well, now add a half cup liquid starch, mixing as you add. when it is well mixed turn it out onto some plastic or wax paper and knead it. After 2-5 minutes of kneading, if it is still to slimy, then give it a rinse. Keeps in a sealed container for weeks easily.
    Notes to remember:
    o If it is too sticky, dip it back into the remaining liquid starch and then knead on your tray some more.
    o If it is not sticky any more but just too gooey (or wet) – then rinse it off with a little water and knead the slime on the tray for again.
    o After a little air time, the slime will get nice and pliable and less gooey.
    o It needs about 5 minutes of air time and play time for the gooey (or wetness) to go away.
    PS not sure why but it really does need to be elmers school glue and not a knock off brand.

  11. This looks like so much fun! My Little Bit is 20 months old and I would love to try this with him. Do you think he is old enough to try scissors?

  12. Cute pics! WE need to do this again sometime! Haven't done it in a looong time! Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. @ social studies Soubrett: I think 20 months is young for actual cutting, but he would love to try. He could poke the GAK with the scissors and see what happens. He may even be advanced and figure out the cutting. Just be sure he doesn't put the GAK in his mouth. GAK is also fun to make colorful with markers. Get washable markers and let him color it. Mix it up and he can do it again and again. Get out rolling pins and cookie cutters and it is another fun activity to try doing things with. So many ideas for how to use this.

  14. That is great. We use a similar recipe for making slime! Lovely photo's! Thank you for linking to Fun Sparks! :)

  15. That is such a clever idea!! Never thought of that! Thanks so much for linking up to Made by Little Hands Mondays!
    Hope you are having a great Monday!

  16. What a different way to practice cutting! Thank you for linking up to The Sunday Showcase!


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