One the big Christmas hits this year was Martian Matter. Harry requested it after singing the commercial jingle for several months so when he opened it on Christmas morning he was thrilled. Here's the commercial for those who haven't seen it.
We've been producing aliens since the 25th. Great fun. There's lots of opportunity for variety since you choose the the head and body seperately and since (if you buy the refill kit as we did) you have a choice of 5 colours to use.
The really great thing about the martian creations is that when the goo hardens and you take them out of their mold you can feel the water that they've shed in order to harden. Leave them out for a couple of days and they shrink to less then a quarter of their original size. Pour goo on the table rather then in the clay mold and they don't dry any where near as fast. Put the dehydrated matter in a container of water and they regain some of their former size. Store them in an air tight container and they retain most of their moisture although they do seem to get slimy.
I looked at all kinds of fancy and sophisticated science toys when I was Christmas shopping. Martian Matters was one of things things that didn't even make the list as a science toy but, in my mind, was rather what the Classical homeschoolers label twaddle. Useless fun but not much more. How wrong I was.