What to do when you score 2 giant bags of packing peanuts for FREE!
Craigslist is a great place to look for free packing material. I scored this set from a local health food store. This bag was full of 2 different kinds of biodegradable packing peanuts and a few Styrofoam ones at the bottom. LOVE IT!
The kids love playing in the peanuts. I filled a large under the bed storage container with them and the kids had a blast. Even my “big” ones loved jumping in. I left this up for a few weeks, defiantly a hit!
Cornstarch packing peanuts do wonderful things in water. We decided to conduct an experiment to see how many cups of packing peanuts would dissolve in 8 cups of water. Kaleb made the chart and wrote down all our guesses.
We started out shaking the jar, but soon realized that we were creating too much foam. We ended up mixing them in with a spoon which seemed to work better. The end result was amazing.
We ended up being able to dissolve 135 cups of packing peanuts in 8 cups of water. I am convinced we could have kept on going if our container was bigger. It takes very little moisture to break them down.
Next we created wonderful structures. Simply dip your finger in water, touch it to the packing peanut and then press 2 peanuts together. The kids had a blast doing this. You can buy special packing peanuts at kid learning stores, but these free peanuts work the same way. You can also purchase packing peanuts at office supply stores. Hours of endless fun building and creating.
After they finished building they had this great idea to see how fast it would take to dissolve in water. I was excited that they wanted to dissolve it because I was getting worried that I wold have to fit this wonderful structure in with my spring decorations:) If you look closely you can see a man (no face), a giraffe, a large spider and a creeping Caterpillar.
Squishing slimy, gooey packing peanuts.
Kaleb enjoyed making flying “worms” by squishing his hands together.
Next the kids wanted to know what the difference between the Styrofoam and biodegradable peanuts so I set up another experiment. The jar on the right contains the biodegradable peanuts and the jar on the right is the Styrofoam peanuts. After some fun shaking the kids noticed that there was no change in the Styrofoam jar.
Since the Styrofoam peanuts don’t dissolve in water they are perfect for using as beanbag filler. They are larger than the regular bean bag filler, but the kids don’t mind and it squishes down pretty quickly. The perfect cheap fix to fluff up those flat beanbags. Simply unzip the beanbag cover, there is usually 2 zippers and dump in the styrofoam packing peanuts. It is important to make sure you are using Styrofoam. If your beanbag ever gets wet, you would end up with a sticky gooey mess with the biodegradable variety.
All this play took place over a few weeks. The kids love it! We are giving the leftover peanuts to my sister-in-law to use in her preschool classroom sensory table. When I was picking up the bags, I’m sure the lady thought I was nuts. She was probably thinking “who wants 2 large bags of packing peanuts and 2 large bags of bubble wrap?” I do! She defiantly blessed our house! Now what to do with all the bubble wrap! LOVE IT!
Here is a link to a fun list of great experiments that my kids love.
I will be linking to these parties.