How to Make Oobleck
Find out how to make oobleck! This oobleck recipe makes a fun science activity for kids! Just grab 2 ingredients, use the correct ratios and you will be ready for lots of fun sensory play!
How to Make Oobleck
Making oobleck is a great way to teach your kids about non-Newtonian fluids. Under force oobleck can change to become more liquid or more solid (explanation below). Here’s how to make your own oobleck at home:
- 2 cups of cornstarch
- 1 cup of water
- A mixing bowl
- Food coloring (optional)
1. Measure out the amounts of water and cornstarch you would like to use. Typically you will want to use a 2 to 1 ratio for the oobleck mix. We used 2 cups of cornstarch mixed with 1 cup of water.
2. If you would like to use some food coloring, mix a few drops into the water and stir it in.
3. Pour the cornstarch into the container or tray your kids will use to play with the oobleck in.
4. Pour the water slowly on top of the cornstarch.
5. Stir the mixture with a spoon for as long as you can. It will become hard to stir and you will probably need to finish mixing with your hands. You will know it is ready when it forms into a thick, gooey substance that feels solid when you press it with your fingers, but flows like a liquid when you release the pressure. It will take about 5 minutes to mix.
Tip: If the oobleck is too runny, you can add more cornstarch to thicken it. If it is too thick, you can add more water to thin it out. Don’t add too much at once, just add a little bit at a time.
Once your oobleck is the right consistency, you can start exploring its unique properties. Try slowly dipping your fingers into the oobleck and feel how it behaves like a liquid. Then, quickly move your fingers through the oobleck and feel how it becomes solid. You can also try dropping a small object, such as a toy, into the oobleck. Does it sit on top or sink to the bottom?
The kids had a blast playing with oobleck! It is a great way to introduce them to the concept of non-Newtonian fluids and allow them to explore and experiment with this fascinating material.
To dispose of the oobleck, make sure you throw it away as it can clog your drains! You can also store the oobleck in an airtight container or plastic bag if you would like to reuse it. You might need to pour a little water in it again when you do.
How does Oobleck Work?
Oobleck is made up of cornstarch and water. Cornstarch is a fine powder made from corn, and when mixed with water, it forms a thick, gooey substance. This substance is called a colloid, which is a mixture of two substances that are evenly distributed throughout each other, but don’t dissolve into each other.
The key to oobleck’s unique properties is the way the cornstarch particles are arranged. When you apply pressure to oobleck, the cornstarch particles are pushed closely together, forming a solid-like structure. When you release the pressure, the cornstarch particles are able to move freely again, allowing the oobleck to flow like a liquid.
This behavior is different from most other liquids, which follow the laws of fluid dynamics, which state that a liquid will always flow at a constant rate, regardless of the amount of pressure applied to it. But oobleck doesn’t follow these rules, which is why it’s called a non-Newtonian fluid.
You can also try adding more water or cornstarch to your oobleck to see how it changes the consistency of the mixture. If you add more water, the oobleck will become more liquid-like and will be easier to pour. If you add more cornstarch, the oobleck will become thicker and more solid.
Oobleck is a fun and fascinating substance that can teach us a lot about the properties of matter and how different substances can behave in different ways.
Extend the Fun
- Try making oobleck in different colors.
- Test the consistency with different amounts of water and cornstarch.
- Use different toys to play in the oobleck.
- Try using different utensils to mix and experiment with.
This science activity would be a great addition to your simple science lessons and is a fun way for kids to learn about non-Newtonian fluids.
I hope you and the kids enjoy making oobleck!
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