Oobleck is a fascinating way to engage in sensory play and understand science. Find out how to make oobleck here as well as what makes it so educational.
All it takes is a little bit of cornstarch, a little bit of water, and the desire to get your hands good and dirty. Then, you’ll see just how fascinating and wonderful this non-Newtonian fluid is.
Not only is oobleck great for sensory play, it is also an amazing way to understand physics. Before we get into how to make oobleck, here is the science behind the fluid.
What is Oobleck?
Oobleck is a type of play dough or slime that is made from water and cornstarch. Its name comes from the
As simple as this concoction is to make, the results are quite interesting. Unlike water or other Newtonian fluids, the viscosity of oobleck is determined based on the stress against it. Slime, silly putty, and ketchup are other common Non-Newtonian fluids. All of them act differently based on the stress against them, Ketchup, for instance, becomes more liquidy when shaken and more solid when left still.
In the case of oobleck, when we use force against it, the cornstarch particles gather together mimicking a solid. When we slide our hands through it slowly, it acts like other fluids.
You can see how a massive quantity of oobleck reacts when university students jump, run and do flips on it below.
Oobleck is great because it:
- facilitates the benefits of sensory play,
- is inexpensive,
- quick and easy to set up,
- taste-safe for babies and toddlers,
- so much FUN!
Here is how to make some yourself.
How to make Oobleck
When making oobleck, we recommend putting down a disposable table cloth or playing with it outside. It also helps to have a bucket of water and a towel near by to clean off hands.
Making Oobleck | What you need:
- 2 parts cornstarch (corn flour)
- 1 part water
- Food colouring (optional)
The oobleck recipe we tend to use is 1 cup of water and 2 cups of cornstarch.
Making Oobleck | What to do:
- In a large bowl or container, combine water, food colouring and cornstarch.
- Lay down a plastic table cloth if you have one or head outside.
- Then, enjoy!
When playing with oobleck, it can be fun to use kitchen utensils and plastic toys to use to hit, dig, or run across its surface. It is also a lot of fun to make a ball with it and then let it run through your fingers.
How to store your Oobleck
Oobleck is great for days of play. To store, put oobleck in an airtight container and refrigerate. You may need to add a splash or two of water to get the desired consistency again. Store and reuse for up to two weeks of fun.