Oobleck is, simply put, cornstarch and water. But, that’s not what makes it interesting or fun. The cool thing about oobleck is that it can change from a liquid to a solid in an instant. If you slap it, it becomes hard and your hand bounces off, but if you set your hand on it slowly, your hand will sink to the bottom. If you squeeze a section of it tightly in your fist, you can make a solid ball of oobleck, but as soon as you let go, it starts to ooze out between your fingers.
Isaiah had never seen oobleck before. I’ve made it several times as a kid, but it’s been years since I had an excuse to play with it. At first, Isaiah wasn’t sure if it was a good thing or not. He made all kinds of faces and flung oobleck in the air trying to get it off his fingers.
Soon enough, Isaiah had determined that this strange concoction was a wonderful new toy. He had a blast experimenting with different things he could do with it. Each time he got it to react to his touch in a different way, his face would light up.
Isaiah was starting to get oobleck everywhere, so we moved to the bathroom where the mess could be contained in the easily cleaned bathtub. This opened up new possibilities for playing with it because he could now reach the dish with his feet. He decided to try sticking his feet in the oobleck and trying different things with that. He seemed to do a better job of hitting it hard enough to make it seem solid when he used his feet and that made him happy.
I put the oobleck in a container. I don’t know if it’ll actually work to save it and use it again or not, but we’ll find out. If it is still right tomorrow, Isaiah can play with it again for as long as he wants.
Note: If you want to try making oobleck for your kids, it’s easy. Recipes usually call for 1 1/2 cup of water and 2 cups of corn starch, but I actually ended up with just one cup of water because that made it thicker, which is better for toddlers. It takes quite a lot of mixing before the consistency is right, but it’s very worth it! This is a great sensory activity for toddlers and preschoolers. That’s one of the reasons we were playing with it today. Isaiah appeared to want something messy to play with and this seemed perfect.