This simple 2 ingredient oobleck recipe is the easiest way to make oobleck. Making oobleck is a great way for kids to learn about the science of liquids through play at home or in the classroom. We are going to show you how to make oobleck, our favorite oobleck recipe, what is special this non-Newtonian liquid and some fun STEM oobleck activities for kids of all ages.
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How to Make oobleck
I think the best place to start is to figure out exactly what is this strange oobleck substance. Oobleck got its name from the Dr. Seuss book, Batholomew and the Oobleck and is a non-toxic way to easily demonstrate what a non-Newtonian fluid is by using a suspension of starch.
What IS Oobleck?
Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids.–Scientific American
- A non-Newtonian liquid demonstrates variable viscosity, which means that the viscosity (or “thickness” of the fluid) may change as force is applied or, less commonly, over time.
- A Newtonian liquid such as water has a constant viscosity.
Easy Oobleck Recipe
Alright! Enough talking about oobleck, let’s make some and get hands-on experience with non-Newtonian liquids!
Supplies & Ingredients Needed to Make Oobleck
- 1 1/2 cups Cornstarch
- 1 cup of Water
- (Optional) Food Coloring
- Popsicle sticks to stir
- Toys to experiment with: strainers, colander, paper clips, cotton balls, spatulas, etc.
Oobleck Recipe Ratio of Water to Starch
While there is not an exact amount of water or cornstarch ratio when making oobleck, the General guidelines for oobleck ratio is to try 1 cup of water for every 1-2 cups of cornstarch.
Directions to Make Cornstarch Oobleck Recipe
Watch Our Short Tutorial Video on Easy Oobleck Recipe
(Optional) Step 1
If you are going to make colored oobleck, the best place to start is to add the food coloring to the water before you add the cornstarch. Make the water your desired color knowing that it will be lighter after adding the white starch.
Combine the water and cornstarch together. You can start by measuring a 1:1 ratio of water to cornstarch and then adding additional cornstarch to see what happens…
You are looking for a consistency that cracks when you shove your stirrer through it quickly, but “melts” back into the cup.
More Examples of non-Newtonian liquids
When you think of examples of non-Newtonian liquids, you think of ketchup, syrup and Oobleck.
- Ketchup becomes runnier, or less viscous, the more you shake it.
- Oobleck is just the opposite – the more you play with it, the harder (more viscous) it becomes!
Oobleck Science Activities for Kids
I love this oobleck activity for kids of all ages because at each level, they will be learning different STEM things. Oobleck is a lesson that just keeps kids learning.
One of the great things about making homemade oobleck is that the ways you can play with it are endless. You can try different things and then figure out why it works that way.
Favorite Oobleck Experiments to Try
- Turn your cup of oobleck upside down quickly, what happens to it? It should stay in the cup even if the cup is not upright until force is applied to the cup, breaking the colloid tension.
- Fill a strainer with Oobleck. Watch how it slowly drizzles out. If it stops dripping, what happens if you stir the goo?
- Pour a layer of goo into the bottom of a casserole dish. Slap the Oobleck mixture. Does it act like water and splash? Try to hit it harder. What happens?
- Can you take a spatula and lift a “slice” of oobleck off the plate? What happens?
Make Oobleck Cotton Balls for Hammering
Inspired by Time for Play, we decided to bake our cotton balls to harden the oobleck and create a smashing activity for the kids for the back porch or drive way:
- Drizzle oobleck over cotton balls laying on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet.
- Baked oobleck covered cotton balls in the oven at 300 degrees until they dry out (usually takes 50 minutes or so).
- Let oobleck cotton balls cool.
- Remove hardened cotton balls from baking sheet and take outside with hammer.
- Kids can crack and smash cotton balls with hammer for fun.
One of our boys loves hammering and his younger, not ready-for-nails brother joined him!
- (optional) food coloring
- popsicle sticks
- toys to experiment with: strainers, colander, paper clips, cotton balls, spatulas...whatever you have on hand!
- If you want colored oobleck, start by coloring the water first with the desired intensity of food dye.
- Combine the water and cornstarch in a 1 cup to 1-2 cup ratio until you have a consistency that cracks when you shove a stir stick into it, but melts back when you remove it.
More Oobleck Fun from Kids Activities Blog
- Have you ever wondered how strong is oobleck?
- This melting play dough recipe was a mistake. I was trying to make ice cream play dough and ended up with oobleck which made it a million times better.
- Check out this collection of oobleck experiments for kids.
How did your oobleck recipe turn out? What oobleck ratio did you end up with?