Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ooey, Gooey Oobleck Fun


There is some ooey, gooey, and messy fun planned for the Program Room in October. Oobleck is a mixture of corn starch (polymer) and water that provides a sensory experience for kids. It has some interesting physical properties; it is both a liquid and a solid depending on how you play with it.

I sat down with Please Touch Museum's Arts Coordinator and she showed me how to make my own Oobleck at home. Here’s a recipe for Oobleck that is sure to get your little one experimenting!

Materials:
* 1 part water
* 2 parts corn starch
* Large bowl or tin to play with your OOBLECK in
* Food Coloring or Liquid Watercolor (optional)

Instructions:

Hint: Grown-ups can help with measuring but allow your child to help you make the oobleck mixture then experiment with pouring the corn starch and water. Please note that oobleck is not an exact science; it is an experiment so don't worry if your measurements are not perfect.

* Add one part water (1/2 cup of water)
* Add 2 parts corn starch (1 cup corn starch)
* Mix the ingredients well with a spoon or your hands (whatever your child’s preference)
* Your mixture should change between a liquid and a solid when handled because it is a polymer. Try to make your oobleck into different shapes- how does the oobleck react? Does it want to stay as a solid or as a liquid?
* Experiment with the ratio of water to corn starch to see which consistencies your prefer. Ask them what they think will happen next. For example, if we add more corn starch, what do you think will happen?

For a video of different ways to play with oobleck- visit this video on YouTube!

Hope you enjoy your experience and don't forget: it's okay to get a little messy!

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