On my recent trip to visit my sister and her family, my oldest nephew (Karate Kid) requested some “fun ‘speriments!” I thought he and Engineer would enjoy creating and exploring a scented oobleck (aka Jell-O slime) recipe with me. Based on their giggles, smiles, and the time they spent playing with it, my prediction was correct! 🙂
The term oobleck comes from the Dr. Seuss book “Bartholomew and the Oobleck”. It refers to a specific non-Newtonian liquid made up of cornstarch and water. In case you’re wondering, a non-Newtonian liquid is basically a liquid that doesn’t react the way most liquids do. With oobleck, the harder it’s pushed/pulled on, the more like a solid it becomes. The less it’s pushed/pulled on, the more it acts like a liquid. Other non-Newtonian liquids include ketchup, blood, and yogurt. Now onto our oobleck recipe!
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- Place two cups of cornstarch into a bowl.
- Slowly add the water, stirring as you go. Continue until it becomes difficult to stir quickly (but easier to stir when done so slowly).
- Add a packet of Jell-O powder. We went with orange. 🙂 It’s an easy way to bring a new sensory twist to a old play recipe.
- Let the kiddos have fun and experiment with the slimy oobleck!
Related: Unique Ideas for Growing Crystals
Karate Kid and Engineer had way too much fun playing and exploring with this slime! They ran their fingers through it slowly, then fast. They really enjoyed “karate punching” the oobleck, just to see what it would do. The boys laughed when they realized the oobleck acted more and more like a solid the harder they hit/punched it. Karate Kid seemed to enjoy letting it run through his fingers slowly, which is when the oobleck acted like a liquid.
Engineer and Karate Kid commented a few times about how yummy the oobleck smelled. They didn’t seem to notice that it was an orange color, but they’d never played with this variation of oobleck before! Even if it didn’t make much difference to the boys, I still enjoyed changing up the oobleck recipe a little bit.
After playing with the slime a while, the kiddos discovered my plastic pirates. It was determined that the pirates wanted in on the fun! The pirate ship was joyously sunk into the orange goop. The pirates were run up and down the oobleck, then left to sink on their own. The only trouble the boys ran into was removing the pirates from the oobleck! The harder they pulled, the harder it was to remove the pirates. It was like had forgotten all about the properties of this special liquid. They eventually realized their mistake, and the pirates were rescued from the peril.
If I’d know the pirates would join us, I would have used the blue raspberry Jell-O powder!
Have you ever made oobleck with the kiddos? Or different slime recipes? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
If you’re looking for more oobleck fun, you REALLY need to check out Housing a Forest’s “Dancing Oobleck”! It is awesome — the boys and I watched it multiple times while we were visiting. Steve Spangler also did an oobleck experiment on “The Ellen Show”, if you’d like to see the You Tube video here.
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