Craft Corner: Make Your Own Oobleck!

📚 Celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss' Birthday on March 2

By Laura Miller, Publisher of Macaroni Kid Appleton-Waupaca-Oshkosh, WI March 1, 2016

Did you know that oobleck gets its name from the Dr. Seuss book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck?

Celebrate Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss' birthday by making your own oobleck. Your kids will love playing with it... and so will YOU!

What You Need:

  • 1 part water (how much one "part" is depends on how much you want to make!)
  • 1.5 – 2 parts cornstarch
  • Food coloring (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Put the cornstarch in a bowl and add the water slowly, while stirring, until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter. You might not use all the water, or you may need more ... just go by how it looks/feels.
  2. If you're using food coloring, add a few drops until you reach the desired color.

How to Play:
Let your kids' imaginations take them on a fun adventure. You can simply enjoy trying to hold the oobleck as it runs through your fingers or you can play with it using different containers, strainers, and tools. You can even have a pretend restaurant with it.

When you apply force to the oobleck (like rolling it into a ball or slapping it between your hands), you make it thicken so that it stays in your hand, but if you stop moving it, it turns back into a liquid and will slip out between your fingers. If you make enough oobleck, you can even walk ON it!

Cleaning up your play space is easy with a damp cloth, but be careful not to play on a surface that would be easily stained by the food coloring.

Hopefully play happened over surfaces that are easy to wipe clean, but if there was a drip in the carpet, don't worry! Once oobleck dries out, it just becomes cornstarch again and you can vacuum up the powder. (Yes, I found this out from personal experience!) Of course, if there was food coloring in your oobleck, that might be harder to get out.

Depending on the age of the children, you can talk about liquids and solids and how substances like this, which are neither solid nor liquid, are called non-Newtonian fluids.