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Blog - For Parents - Fine Arts & Extracurriculars

Goopy Fun Activities with Oobleck

Feb. 16, 2022

Mamas and papas out there, I know it can be really tricky to get anything done at home with a toddler on the loose, be it work, chores, or simply taking a 10-minute break to read an article. Don't lose hope just yet! We have a secret recipe for you that gives you the break you need without having to involve screen time. Toddlers LOVE messy play, and what better messy substance to offer other than goopy, slimy, endlessly fun Oobleck! In this article, you’ll be introduced to what oobleck is, in addition to three ways you can incorporate it in your kid's play.

  Kids with paint

The best thing about oobleck is that it's as easy as 1-2, without even the 3! To make it, all you need is two ingredients: water and cornstarch. When mixed, it can look like a liquid, but when subjected to pressure, it turns into a solid. But what are liquids and solids? The "What's the Matter with Matter?" article from the Kid's Academy website can help explain or refresh your children's knowledge around matter and its states. Interestingly, oobleck takes the characteristics of both liquids and solids, it is what we call a “Non-Newtonian Fluid”.  With a few more ingredients and a little bit of imagination, oobleck can become a very beneficial and fun way to entertain your child while also ensuring sensory and cognitive development, as it not only engages their scientific exploration and problem solving skills, but also helps them practice their fine motor skills.

Activity 1: Scavenger Hunt

What you’ll need:

  • 1 part cornstarch (e.g. 4 cups)
  • ½ part water (e.g. 2 cups)
  • Sensory/plastic bin
  • A number of small toys such as plastic animals
  • A list of the names of the hidden objects

How to:

All you have to do for this activity is mix the water and cornstarch in the bin, and put the toys in the mixture. The oobleck is supposed to cover the toys till. Your kid will have to find the objects and cross each one off of the list. The more toys you throw into that bin and the wider the diversity, the better!

hand crafting

Activity 2: Color Mixing

What you’ll need:

  • 1 part cornstarch
  • ½ part water
  • Primary colors food coloring (red-blue-yellow)
  • Any number of small containers

How to:

For this activity, mix the oobleck and separate it into 4 batches. Add one color to each batch, leaving one white, and then have the kids mix small portions from each batch to create new colors. You can also paint with your child in our coloring worksheets

Activity 3: Solid or Liquid?

What you’ll need:

  • 1 part cornstarch
  • ½ part water
  • Plastic bin
  • Random objects with varying surface area

How to:

Mix the cornstarch and water to make oobleck. Then let the kids poke and hit it with the different objects. This activity will help them see how slapping the mixture with objects that have a bigger surface area can make the mixture act as a solid, while smaller surface area goes through it like liquid. In addition, the force of the hit also plays a role in how the mixture will act, the greater the force, the more likely it will act as a solid. For added benefit, encourage the kids to use the hands as one of the objects they hit the mixture with as it can provide a more sensory hands-on experience of what the mixture feels like.

 These are only three activities of many more that can be done with oobleck. It is such a versatile and interesting substance to kids that it will no doubt keep them busy for at least half an hour. And rest assured, it is as easy to clean as it is to make! Read about more activites in our parenting blog.

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