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Oobleck

Oobleck is a mixture of cornstarch and water that sometimes behaves like a liquid and sometimes behaves like a solid. It all depends on how you treat it! Try this fun experiment at home!

Download this activity!

Watch this video and learn to make Oobleck at home!



Here's what you need

  • Cornstarch

  • Water

  • Container (throw away container is easiest for clean up)

  • Paper towels

  • Food coloring (optional)

  • Spoon (optional)


Here's what to do 

  1. Create the Ooblek by mixing two cups of cornstarch with one cup of water. Add a bit more of either ingredient to get it to the point that you can pick it up, but it is still runny. Add food coloring, if desired.

  2. Play with it! Try to pick it up in your hand, squeeze it, push it, draw in it with your finger, and more. Try hitting it with a spoon to see what happens then.

Questions to ask

  • Does it feel more like a liquid or a solid? Why? 

  • What observations can you make about Oobleck?

  • What actions make it act more like a solid? 

Oobleck

What's going on?


Oobleck is a Non-Newtonian fluid, which means that it changes its viscosity (or ease of pouring) not based on temperature (like water) but based on shear stress caused by stirring, squeezing, and adding pressure.

Try This

Use science vocabulary: Use related science words such as texture, fluid, solid, liquid, pressure, and observations. Children learn new vocabulary words when they hear grown-ups use them in context.

For older children: Challenge them to find other Non-Newtonian fluids in your home. (Examples include ketchup, jelly, silly putty, mayonnaise, and slime.)

Keep In Mind

  • Do NOT dispose of Oobleck down your sink. Throw it away in a trash can. 

  • Children are natural scientists; let them lead the way in their experimentation!

Encourage them to ask questions and make suggestions only when they are stuck/discouraged.

  • The order suggested is not the only right or perfect way. Make adjustments based on the age, ability, and interests of the children.

Additional Resources

Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss

Change It!: Solids, Liquids, Gases and You by Adrienne Mason

Stay At Home Science

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