Written by Kitty CollectiveKitty Collective| March 21, 2022 in Worksheet
Oobleck is a popular science experiment that has been around for many years, and it’s easy to make! It can be used in numerous ways, but the most common use is as an alternative to water when making slime.
It is a popular substance with kids as it can be molded into all kinds of shapes and used as a play dough substitute.
You can buy oobleck at your local craft store, or you can easily make it yourself. With this in mind, we are going to be taking a look at how you can go about making your own oobleck so that you and your kids can have fun experimenting anytime and anywhere!
Let’s get started.
What Is Oobleck?
Oobleck is a thick, non-Newtonian fluid made from corn starch, water, and food coloring. It was first created by Dr. James G. Huggins back in 1869, and he called it “a new material which will flow like jelly under slight pressure”.
This makes it perfect for making slime because it can be shaped into any form and used as moldable play dough. It also works really well if you want to create a soft clay-like substance.
How Do You Make Your Own Oobleck?
Because of its relatively simple consistency, oobleck is very easy to make. You can make it with some relatively common kitchen items. Some of these ingredients are essential, whilst others are optional. Let’s take a look at them.
- Corn Starch – Corn starch is a starch found in plants. It helps thicken liquids and gives them their viscosity. If you don’t have cornstarch on hand, then you can use potato starch instead.
- Water – Water is essential for oobleck because it provides the liquid base.
- Food Coloring – Food coloring is added to give the oobleck different colors. There are hundreds of different types available. It is all down to a matter of what color you want to make the oobleck or what you have available in your home.
- Sugar – Sugar is often added to oobleck recipes to help reduce the stickiness of the mixture.
- Salt – Salt can be added to oobleck to help keep it from sticking together.
- Baking Soda – Baking soda helps neutralize odors and prevent bacteria growth, so it can be included within an oobleck recipe should you want to.
- Alcohol – Alcohol is sometimes added to oobleck in order to speed up the setting process.
- Acidic Vinegar – Acidic vinegar is added to oobleck for the same reason alcohol is. It helps to break down proteins and increase the set time.
- Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is added to oobleck to help make them more pliable.
Making Your Own Oobleck Recipe
The following recipe is one of the easiest ways to make oobleck. It doesn’t require any special equipment and takes only a few minutes to prepare. So let’s get started.
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 2 cups (500 ml) corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- Measuring Cups
- Mixing Bowl
Add the water to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat and stir in the cornstarch until it dissolves completely. Stir in the other optional ingredients and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and knead it until it becomes smooth and elastic. Use your hands or an old-fashioned spoon to shape the mixture into whatever shape you desire. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before using it.
How Long Does Oobleck Last For?
Oobleck tends to last longer than regular Play-Doh. It should stay good for several days if stored in a sealed container away from sunlight. However, if you plan on using it right away, then you may need to store it in the fridge to extend its shelf life.
What Can You Make With Oobleck
Oobleck is great to play with thanks to its versatility. Kids can use it like glue, slime, paint, moldable clay, soap, and so much more! Here are just a few ideas:
- Slime: Mix 1 part oobleck with 3 parts water. Add food coloring and mix well. Then roll the slime into balls and let dry.
- Paint: Mix 2 parts oobleck with 1 part water. Add food coloring as desired. Roll the mixture into small balls and place it onto a plate. Allow to dry. When finished painting, add glitter or sand to create a unique effect.
- Moldable Clay: Mix 4 parts oobleck with 2 parts water. Add food dye and mix well. The resulting clay will be very soft. If you want firmer clay, add more water.
- Glue: Mix 1 part oobleck with 1 part warm water. Apply the mixture to surfaces that you wish to bond. Wait for the surface to dry and repeat steps if necessary.
- Make Soap: Mix 1 part oobleck with 1 part hot water. Add essential oils and pour into molds. Allow to cool and cut into bars.
- Play Dough: Mix together 2 parts oobleck and 1 part flour. Add enough water to form a doughy consistency. Knead the dough by hand or with an electric mixer. Roll out the dough and cut it into shapes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes.
Things To Do With Oobleck
Here are some fun things you can do with oobleck:
- Paint Artwork: Mix 1 part oobleck with 1 part water. Use a brush to apply the mixture to a canvas. When the painting dries, use a toothpick to remove the oobleck and reveal the colors underneath.
- Play Ball: Fill a plastic baggie with oobleck. Cut off a corner and squeeze out the contents onto a table or floor. Try different patterns and see what happens.
- Build Bridges: Using two spoons, scoop up some of the oobleck and place it between two plates. Slowly lower the plates towards each other until they touch. Repeat this process until you have built a bridge.
- Create a Snowman: Take a ball of oobleck and press down firmly on the top of the ball. Hold it there while pressing down on the bottom of the ball. Repeat this process until a snowman forms.
- Create Water Balloon Explosions: Mix 1 part oobleck with 1 part water. Squeeze the balloon and watch as the oobleck squishes through the walls of the balloon.
These are just a few examples of what you can do with oobleck. Get creative, and you are sure to find plenty of different ways that you and your kids can play with the substance for hours.
Oobleck is an incredibly fun substance to work with. It’s easy to make and it has endless possibilities. By following these simple steps, you are sure to be able to create your own oobleck in a matter of no time!