Are you looking for an educational activity that is fun for adults and kids alike? This easy Oobleck recipe for kids is just that! Learn how you can make this perfect sensory play material in a few minutes using simple ingredients from your pantry.
If you are like me, you hate spending time setting up different projects for your toddlers or children to only play for a few minutes. No need to worry about that with this fun science & sensory activity.
Just note that this is messy, so it may be one you want to do outside.
What is Oobleck?
Oobleck refers to a green substance from the Dr. Seuss book,Bartholomew.This is a great way to add a literary component to your science experiments.
And don’t worry about this particular Dr. Seuss book being appropriate. It is not one that is being questioned for being appropriate for children in this day in age.
Basic Recap Of The Story
A boy named Bartholomew must solve a problem caused by a strange green oobleck that falls from the sky, disrupting his kingdom. He persuades the King that he made a mistake and is able to reverse the Oobleck problem they were facing.
How To Use For Science Experiments
The best part of this fascinating substance is that you can discuss different states of matter with your littlest scientists. Since Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid it is a great way for young children to see and feel the liquid state and a solid at the same time.
The amount of pressure applied to the mixture of cornstarch determines if it is in liquid form or solid.
Is it a liquid? Is it a solid?
Even adults will have so much fun playing with this Oobleck experiment. I guarantee you will be tempted to have some fun with your little ones.
The best part is that it only takes two ingredients: cornstarch and water! Just note that the ratio of cornstarch to water may vary depending on your climate and altitude.
Materials & Equipment
- Bowl: plastic, ceramic or metal mixing bowl preferably
- Plastic tablecloth for easy clean-up (optional)
- Large tray or metal container to play in
The last time we made this, my three-year-old sat at the kitchen table for two hours and did not even ask for us to play with him! He independently entertained himself for that long!
I don’t care what kind of mess he made because that was totally worth it to me.
- 2 Cups Of Cornstarch
- 1 Cup Of Water
- Food Coloring or Washable Tempera Paint (optional)
How To Make Oobleck
Step 1: Mix Cornstarch And Water
Mix 2 parts cornstarch with 1 part water slowly. Add the water in slowly and mix it until you get the right consistency that you are looking for.
You may be able to stir with a spoon or you have to get your hands in there to mix it up. Don’t worry adults have fun playing with this fun sensory activity.
If you add too much water, you can always mix in more cornstarch.
Optional Step: Add Color
At our house we are fine with whiteOobleck Slime, however, if you would like a sticky green substance like the book, then feel free to add a few drops of food coloring.
Food Coloring vs. Washable Paint
Gel food coloring will give more vibrant colors, but may stain your hands. If you are not worried about a child putting anything in their mouth, you could use a little washable tempera paint instead.
Step 3: Have Fun Playing
You can bury toys and cars. Just use your hands to see how it changes states of matter.
What do you observe?
This is a great question you can your little ones to see if they can come up with any scientific conclusions about what is going on with this crazy material!
The Ooleck will look like it is breaking if you add too much pressure when trying to pick it up. And you will notice that if you don’t apply any pressure, your fingers will slowly sink into the Oobleck or it will run through your fingers.
Step 4: Clean Up
You can save Oobleck for about 24 hours in an airtight container. It may last longer but check for mold after that timeframe.
After 24 hours, you can also let the water evaporate so that you can reconstitute the cornstarch at a different time. Once it dries, you could consider making cloud dough with lotion or even conditioner.
Activities To Do With Homemade Oobleck
- Add toys to the Oobleck. On this particular day, we used small cars. Another day, he was using small dinosaurs and creating a whole imaginative habitat.
- Give your child small utensils to dig out toys. Or even better, hide small items in the oobleck and see if he or she can find them.
- Push your hand in and see how easy it is to pull it out (just be careful the bowl may go flying).
- Add different elements like coloring or glitter to get a different feel.
- Make this easy Oobleck Slime in some sort of disposable container, large mixing bowl or plastic container. However, make sure that it will withstand all the mixing. You may want to double up on bowls.
- The first time we made this Oobleck mixture, we added too much water too quickly. Make sure to slowly add a little bit of water at a time and mix!
- If your Oobleck is too watery, add a little cornstarch at a time to get the gooey fun you are looking for.
How do you easily clean up oobleck?
It is actually easiest if you let it dry before trying to clean it up. Once it becomes more like cornstarch again, you can vacuum it up. Or you can place it into a plastic bag and throw it in the trash. You do not want to put the gooey substance down your drain.
Is oobleck a solid or liquid?
Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid because behaves like a solid and liquid. It acts like a solid when you squeeze or add pressure to it.
What happens if my oobleck dries out?
When you play with oobleck a lot it naturally will dry out. You can add a little extra water to bring it back to life.
What if my child doesn’t like to get messy?
You can still have fun using Oobleck without physically touching it. Try playing with the oobleck using large spoons, skewers or even baskets and strainers.
What else can you use to make Oobleck?
Other types of starchy flour like tapioca flour, potato starch or arrowroot flour can work. You may need to test the ingredient ratios. You can also make Oobleck with baby powder.
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We hope that you have as much fun as we did. Our printable DIY Oobleck recipe card below is sure to make your kids smile.
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2-Ingredient Oobleck Recipe
Learn how to make Oobleck using cornstarch and water.
Prep:5 minutes mins
Creating:2 minutes mins
Total Time:7 minutes mins
Bartholomew's and The Oobleck optional
- 2 cups Cornstarch
- 1 cup Water
- Food Coloring
Add cornstarch to a bowl.
Stir in half of the water slowly and mix. Add the remaining water.
Adjust accordingly to get the right consistency.
Optional: Add a few drops of food coloring to create a fun effect.
Use toys and have fun with your Oobleck.
- Doubling up on your disposable bowls will guarantee to be strong enough to support all the playing.
- You can double or triple the amount of materials used for even more fun.
- You can let the bowl sit up to dry up so you can reuse the cornstarch for other fun crafts and activities.
- Add too much pressure when trying to pick it up the Oobleck will look like it is breaking.
- If you don’t apply any pressure, your fingers will slowly sink into the Oobleck or it will run through your fingers.
Cost: under $2
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert in educational activities for children, I can provide information related to the concepts used in the article about making Oobleck. Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid that behaves like both a solid and a liquid. It is made using a simple recipe with cornstarch and water, and it provides a great sensory play material for kids.
A non-Newtonian fluid is a type of fluid that doesn't follow Newton's law of viscosity. Newtonian fluids, like water, have a constant viscosity regardless of the applied force. However, non-Newtonian fluids, like Oobleck, change their viscosity when subjected to stress or pressure. Oobleck becomes more solid-like when pressure is applied and more liquid-like when the pressure is released.
States of Matter
Oobleck is an excellent material to teach children about different states of matter. It allows them to observe and experience the properties of a liquid and a solid simultaneously. The amount of pressure applied to the mixture of cornstarch determines whether it behaves like a liquid or a solid.
Recipe and Ingredients
The recipe for Oobleck requires only two ingredients: cornstarch and water. The ratio of cornstarch to water may vary depending on your climate and altitude. Start with mixing 2 parts cornstarch with 1 part water and adjust until you achieve the desired consistency. You can add food coloring or washable tempera paint to create different colors.
Activities and Tips
There are several fun activities you can do with Oobleck. You can bury toys or small items in the Oobleck and have your child find them using their hands or utensils. You can also observe how the Oobleck changes its state when pressure is applied or released. It's important to note that Oobleck can be messy, so it's recommended to do the activities outside or in a controlled environment.
Cleaning up Oobleck can be easier if you let it dry before attempting to clean it. Once it dries and turns back into a powdery form, you can vacuum it up or dispose of it in a plastic bag. It's not advisable to pour Oobleck down the drain, as it can cause clogs.
If you don't have cornstarch, you can try using other starchy flours like tapioca flour, potato starch, or arrowroot flour. The ratios may need to be adjusted, so it's best to experiment. Another alternative is using baby powder to make Oobleck.
Oobleck is a fun and educational activity that children and adults can enjoy. It provides a hands-on way to explore the properties of non-Newtonian fluids and different states of matter. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a sensory play material that will keep your children engaged and entertained.