Are you wondering how to make oobleck? Oobleck is a classic science experiment that perfectly demonstrates a non-Newtonian fluid! Is it a liquid or a solid?

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How to Make Oobleck: Easy Oobleck Recipe

Oobleck Recipe Video:

Oobleck Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cornstarch or corn flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Small Plastic Figurines or Items (optional)
  • Baking Dish, Spoon

Instructions:

STEP 1: Add the cornstarch to your bowl or baking dish. Mix two parts cornstarch with one part water.

Note: Mixing the oobleck in a bowl and then transferring it to a baking dish or tray may be easier.

STEP 2:  Add the water to the cornstarch. If you want to give your oobleck a color such as green, add food coloring to your water first. If you want to add swirls of food coloring after you mix the oobleck, you can also do that.

NOTE: Remember that you have a lot of white cornstarch, so you will need a good amount of food coloring if you want a more vibrant color.

adding green water to cornstarchPin

STEP 3:  MIx! You can stir your oobleck with a spoon, but I guarantee you will need to get your hands in there at some point during the mixing process.

STORING OOBLECK: You can store your oobleck in an airtight container, but I would not use it for longer than a day or two and check for mold before using it. If it has dried out some, add a very tiny amount of water to rehydrate it, but just a very tiny bit. A little goes a long way!

DISPOSING OF OOBLECK: When you’re done enjoying your oobleck, the best option is to scrape most of the mixture into the trash. The thick substance may be too much for your sink drain to handle!

Using a spoon to mix cornstarch and waterPin

Is Oobleck a Solid or a Liquid?

Oobleck is a fantastic, fun, simple, and quick science lesson for kids of all ages. Even your youngest scientist will be amazed by it. What state of matter is oobleck? Here we combine a liquid and a solid, but the mixture doesn’t become one or the other.

A solid has its shape, whereas a liquid will take the shape of the container. Oobleck is a bit of both! Learn more about states of matter here.

A non-Newtonian fluid, like oobleck, behaves neither like a liquid nor a solid but shares both properties. Its viscosity, or thickness, changes when force is applied or removed. You can pick up a clump of the substance like a solid, but it will ooze back into the bowl like a liquid. It feels firm and solid to the touch, but applying more pressure causes your fingers to sink into it like a liquid.

Also, check out our Electroactive Oobleck… It’s electric!

Is Oobleck a solid?

A solid does not need a container to keep its shape like a rock.

Oobleck being shown as a solidPin

Or is Oobleck a liquid?

A liquid takes the shape of any container or flows freely if not put in a container.

Oobleck being shown as a liquidPin

Oobleck Recipe Variations

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More Ways To Experiment With Oobleck

This oobleck experiment helps kids develop scientific inquiry skills and understand the basic principles of materials and their properties by introducing variables and encouraging them to make comparisons and predictions.

Start by making a standard batch of oobleck using a specific ratio of cornstarch to water. This will be the “control” oobleck for the experiment.

Variable 1: Changing Ratios

Prepare additional batches of oobleck with different ratios of cornstarch to water. For example, make one with more cornstarch and less water and another with more and less.

Encourage kids to observe and compare the properties of each batch. Does changing the ratio affect the oobleck’s behavior? Is it more liquid-like or solid-like?

Variable 2: Adding Objects

Place different objects in the oobleck (e.g., small toys, plastic shapes, coins). Observe how the oobleck interacts with these objects.

Ask kids to predict whether certain objects will sink or float in the oobleck. Record their predictions and compare them to the actual outcomes.

Variable 3: Temperature Experiment

Prepare two batches of oobleck, one using cold water and another using warm water. Discuss the impact of temperature on the oobleck’s properties.

Observe if there are differences in how the oobleck behaves at different temperatures. Does it change its consistency or flow differently?

💡 EXTRA: Try freezing oobleck!

Variable 4: Time Experiment

Set up a timed experiment to observe changes in the oobleck over time. After applying pressure, measure how long it takes for the oobleck to revert from a solid to a liquid state.

Discuss the viscosity concept and how it relates to the time it takes for the oobleck to return to a liquid state.

Record Observations: Have kids record their observations, predictions, and conclusions in a simple scientific journal. Please encourage them to use drawings, words, and measurements.

Discussion: Conclude the experiment by discussing the results. Ask questions about what they observed and if their predictions were accurate. Discuss the scientific concepts behind the changes in Oobleck’s properties.

Simple Science Experiments For Kids

If your preschooler through middle schooler is looking for simpler science activities like oobleck, this home science experiment list is a great place to start!

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