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13 Super Fun Things to Do with Oobleck (A Sensory Goop for Kids)

by Jean Van't Hul
August 11, 2021
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Oobleck, or sensory goop, is super easy to make and there’s a surprising number of fun ways you can learn from and play with it!

Updated May 2021

Oobleck is a completely mesmerizing material for kids to touch and play with. Since it’s just cornstarch and water (plus any color you want to add), it’s super easy and inexpensive to make. It’s also taste safe and non toxic, making it a great sensory play material for babies and toddlers.

Sometimes it acts like a solid. Sometimes it acts like a liquid.

sensory table with goop
Photo by Rachel Withers

And, to add to the weirdness, oobleck acts differently from a normal liquid and differently from a normal solid.

How is that possible?

Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid, meaning it is a pressure-dependent substance.

children playing with oobleck
Photo by Rachel Withers

If you increase the pressure on the oobleck, it increases the viscosity or thickness. But if you poke at it quickly, it feels like a solid. And if you hold some in your hand, it will ooze out of your fingers like a liquid.

(Just for reference, other non-Newtonian fluids include quicksand and Silly Putty).

sensory play with goop
Photo by Rachel Withers
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Since our first batch of sensory goop, we’ve made oobleck many other times. Sometimes with toddler art groups, sometimes on our own, sometimes at birthday parties. We’ve done it inside and outside, in small batches or large, often playing with it using hands, tools, and even feet.

Here’s how to make oobleck (it is super easy!) as well as some of the fun things to do with it. If you like, start by reading Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss, the book that inspired this goop’s fun name.

fun things to do with oobleck pinterest

How to Make Oobleck

Part art + part science, this fun stuff is also known as goop or sensory goop.

MATERIALS

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • Food coloring
  • a large plastic bin (to contain the oobleck while you play)

Time needed: 10 minutes.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add color to water

    Whisk the food coloring into the water so that it colors the oobleck evenly.

  2. Add cornstarch

    Then stir in the cornstarch. Start with 1.5 cups and add more if it is too runny. That’s it!

Now, for what to do with this fun, non-Newtonian fluid…

Child playing with oobleck.
Photo by Rachel Withers

13 Super Fun Things to Do With Oobleck

  1. Drive toy cars through it (it’s just cornstarch, remember, and washes off easily)
  2. Play with it using your hands (of course!)
  3. Let the goop drip through a strainer, a berry basket, or something else with holes
  4. Make dancing oobleck (on Babble Dabble Do)
  5. Try color mixing with it! Either add the food coloring to white oobleck or mix two colors of the stuff together
  6. Dribble and paint with goop on a sidewalk or driveway
  7. Use it for pretend play (on Simply Learning)
  8. Make your goop glow in the dark (on Babble Dabble Do)
  9. Make stretchy oobleck (on Play to Learn Preschool)
  10. Try freezing it (on Inspiration Laboratories)
  11. Send oobleck down a marble run (on Sugar Aunts)
  12. Make sudsy goop (on Fun Littles)
  13. Have a Rainbow Ooblek Play Group Party (on Meri Cherry)

P.S. If you have a corn sensitivity in your family, you can make this with arrowroot powder instead.

Sadie playing with sensory goop
Photo by Andrea Martelle

More Sensory Activities for Kids

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