Look at this oobleck sensory activity: it’s messy, wild, but full of learning for children. In this post, you’ll learn how to make oobleck, what to do with it, and why enduring this mess is actually a good thing for kids. Have a little oobleck party today – it’ll be a memorable kids activity.
Why make an oobleck sensory activity?
It’s only 2 ingredients and you probably have them both.
People: meet Oobleck. One of the most amazing substances and the stuff little kid dreams are made of.
Yes, this will be messy, I’m not going to sugar coat this.You will need to clean up some stuff and some kids. But this will be worth it.
Oobleck is magical and kids play with it for so long. Every time I make it, I’m reminded just how much kids love this messy science.
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What is Oobleck?
Oobleck is a non-Newtonian substance so it feels kind of like a solid and kind of like a liquid, and acts a little like both. You won’t believe it until you try it!
In fact, oobleck is often used in classrooms to discuss the difference between solids and liquids. Since you can make the case for solid and liquid with oobleck, it turns into a fantastic learning opportunity for kids.
RELATED: Do your kids love science experiments? Check out this list of the classic science projects from childhood.
How to make oobleck
Oobleck is a 2:1 ratio cornstarch to water.
In a bowl, scoop in your cornstarch. If you want to add color to your oobleck, add the food coloring or liquid water color to the water, then combine it with the cornstarch.
For this activity, I made THREE batches – each batch a different color.
Each batch is 1 cup cornstarch mixed with 1/2 cup water and a drop or two of food coloring (optional). Mix it up and you’ll just know – like the way you know about a good melon.
RELATED: Is sensory play really important for kids? It is… find all the benefits of sensory play in this article.
How to create an oobleck sensory activity
I turned this oobleck sensory activity into a full-on oobleck party: I put all three colors into our storage bin and I set in a bunch of plastic animals and spoons for the kids to play with.
My kids scooped, poured, covered, decorated, imagined, and created to their hearts content. It was the best little messy adventure to break up an otherwise very ho-hum morning.
My kids (5, 4, and 2) were so excited – it was a wonderland of oobleck and toys.
How do you keep an oobleck party under control?
I’ve learned in almost a decade of messy activities how to keep things under control:
- Give each kid a wet towel for immediate clean ups and wipe downs at their leisure.
- Have an exit plan ready – I knew we were going to the bath tub.
- Go into this knowing that you might have to mop after. My floors can always use a mopping so I make sure to do this on a really dirty day when a quick mop can only improve things.
RELATED: Worried about keeping sensory play from getting too messy? I get it! I check out my advice on making sensory as tidy as possible in this article.
What happened with this oobleck sensory bin?
Once my kids were done playing, about 45 mins to 60 mins later, depending on the kid, I carried the whole bin to the bath tub. I rinsed out the bin quickly, then put kids and animals into a bubble bath together.
This is just cornstarch and water. Diluting the cornstarch stops the substance from being gooey and sticky and sends it back to water.
I love ending an activity in the tub: Everyone got clean and happy, and a mid-morning bath with animals was another fun way to pass the time.
By the end of this – making the oobleck, playing, and bathing to clean had been a 2-hour adventure and we had absolutely made it to nap time.
Making oobleck is the best. I can’t recommend this enough.
Frequently Asked Questions
Technically, cornstarch should be heated up before being ingested. You will want to heat it in the oven for a few minutes if you need it to be truly taste safe.
Food coloring “dissolves” in water. In this activity, 2 drops of food coloring is mixed with 1 cup of water. If you find some on your child’s clothing, set it in cold water for a few hours to let the color “dissolve.” *Always do what you think it best though, I am just some lady on the Internet.
This activity uses cornstarch, which is not recommended for consumption unless cooked. Consider that note when choosing whether or not this is the right activity for your child.