Oobleck is an effective way to learn about non-Newtonian fluids. It exhibits characteristics both solid and liquid, changing viscosity depending on how much pressure you apply.
Easy and fun sensory play activity for kids! Plus it’s gluten-free when made using arrowroot flour instead of cornstarch!
Learn how to make oobleck with our guide!
As you experiment with oobleck, mixing cornstarch into water is an ideal place to start. Use two parts cornstarch per one part water, stirring constantly until you achieve an ideal consistency – solid yet still soupy is ideal – then adjust as necessary with additional or decreased amounts of either cornstarch or water.
Oobleck is an intriguing material to play with because it demonstrates that liquid can feel like solid matter and vice versa, teaching children that matter can change states under pressure. Additionally, Oobleck gives kids an understanding that matter can change states through pressure application.
Oobleck mixture may seem stiff to touch, yet can still be controlled and maneuvered by fingers and hands like any solid. Furthermore, you can pick up small objects to drop into it and observe whether they sink or float as time progresses.
Make oobleck more vibrant and appealing for kids by adding food coloring drops of their choice into the cornstarch and water mixture slowly to avoid it dissolving too quickly in your oobleck.
Children will enjoy rolling oobleck into balls or other shapes in their hands, where it will form hard balls when compressed; but as soon as released it returns back into its liquid state and flows like water again.
If you don’t have cornstarch on hand, flour or baking soda may also work to create an oobleck experiment. They tend to produce similar textures while being easier for pantry stockpiling; however, these won’t react as effectively with iodine; your oobleck may only last around 24 hours before starting to disintegrate further; which gives plenty of opportunity for non-reacting experiments, sensory play or just simply drying out and becoming sand!
This activity provides a great opportunity to teach children that water can also be solid. Experiment with its properties by pouring some into a bowl and then squeezing it; applying pressure will convert liquid water to solid matter; once pressure has been lifted off again it will return back into liquid state.
Add food coloring for an added bit of fun when making Oobleck! Food coloring will show kids how different colors combine and the various interactions between liquids and solids. Repeat this process with each hue on the spectrum (purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red) until you achieve rainbow Oobleck!
Arrowroot flour is another alternative to cornstarch that’s available online or in many gluten-free sections of supermarkets/grocery stores. While more difficult than its cornstarch counterpart to work with, arrowroot will still deliver on its promise if used gradually with water until you achieve desired consistency.
If your oobleck seems too firm, more cornstarch may help thicken it. If it seems too liquidy, add some baking soda for thickening purposes; this will also prevent it from disintegrating so quickly when left unused.
Once your texture is perfect, the fun begins! Squeeze some into your hands or put some on your tongue; it should feel similar to eating slime but without being as gooey or sticky. Or make balls out of it or use it to create artwork!
Fill a bowl with the oobleck and drop in various objects such as paperclips or coins to see their interactions, creating musical notes or patterns with it.
Oobleck can be stored up to 24 hours in an airtight container before beginning to mold; for added protection it would be wise to keep it in a plastic bag when not being used.
Food coloring can add another level of interest and change to your oobleck experience, offering something extra fun. When using food coloring, dissolve it first in water before mixing with cornstarch – this will prevent too thick of an oobleck texture which is difficult to manage. Or swirl your oobleck around in a tray to produce marbled effect!
Oobleck is an amazing science and sensory experiment suitable for children of all ages, made even better by only needing two household ingredients! Not only is it great fun, but many parents have reported their children playing with Oobleck longer than with traditional toys! Additionally, it serves as a great learning tool to introduce non-Newtonian fluids – substances that act both solidly and liquidly simultaneously – into children’s lives.
When creating your own oobleck, be sure to use food-grade dye and keep it away from children. Glitter or paint are great additions for making the oobleck more visually appealing; just keep in mind that its longevity will eventually wane and mold could form over time.
Once your oobleck reaches your ideal consistency, it’s time for some playful fun! Pick up and squeeze a clump, or push on it with your hands – either will cause it to “ooze back”, showing how oobleck can both solid and liquid states at once!
Add glow-in-the-dark pigment or highlighter fluid for an exciting added dimension in your oobleck creations, giving it an extra special touch and making it appear just like real slime! Be careful to not add too much or you could end up with an unpleasant mess on your hands that won’t wash off easily!
If you don’t have cornstarch handy, oobleck can still be made by substituting other ingredients with corn flour, arrowroot flour or potato starch as non-Newtonian fluids. Although using these alternative substances will take longer to set up than using traditional cornstarch alone; additionally more water and possibly food coloring may need to be stirred into it before stirring into your mixture.
Mix one teaspoon of borax with four tablespoons of water quickly in another plastic cup to prevent it from settling at the bottom. Pour this solution directly onto your glue mixture, and squish everything together with your hands until everything has come together.
Your children can help squish the mixture until it’s all mixed up, teaching them how to work with their hands while having fun at the same time. Oobleck will feel solid when touched, yet will ooze from under pressure if applied.
Add a few drops of food coloring to the oobleck to transform it into colorful slime for more fun, while your kids enjoy stirring in the color with their hands. However, they must remain patient as the mixture gets stiffer and harder to mix together.
Kids will also love dropping their hand into an oobleck mixture and watching as it begins to dissolve with pressure from their fingertips. While they might attempt to pick it up and hold onto it, it may not move as easily.
Oobleck can be fun for children to play with, though you should wear old clothing as it can get quite messy. Newspaper can help protect tables as well. Any leftover oobleck will dry out over time when stored properly – instead of pouring it down the drain, make sure it stays in an airtight container!