Step 1: Oobleck: The Dr. Seuss Science Experiment
Oobleck is a classic science experiment that's perfect for entertaining both kids and adults. If you haven't seen it in action it's very fascinating stuff and before too long you'll have your hands covered with it, happily making a mess that can be washed away with water.
Oobleck is a non-newtonian fluid. That is, it acts like a liquid when being poured, but like a solid when a force is acting on it. You can grab it and then it will ooze out of your hands. Make enough Oobleck and you can even walk on it!
Oobleck gets its name from the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck where a gooey green substance, Oobleck, fell from the sky and wreaked havoc in the kingdom. Here the Oobleck will be made in a bowl and will likely make a mess, but only because you can get carried away playing with it.
Step 2: Materials
All you need is corn starch and food coloring and the food coloring is optional.
- 1 cup water
- 1.5-2 cups corn starch
- a few drops of food coloring of your choice
Step 3: Mix it up!
Start with the water in a bowl and start adding the corn starch to it. You can use a spoon at first, but pretty quickly you'll be moving on to using your hand to stir it up.
When you're getting close to adding 1.5 cups of the corn starch, start adding it in more slowly and mixing it in with your hand. The goal is to get a consistency where the Oobleck reaches a state that is the liquid and yet solid.
Sometimes you will need more cornstarch. If so, keep adding more than the initial 1.5 cups. If you add too much, just add some water back into it. You will have to play with it to see what feels appropriately weird.
Step 4: Add food coloring
Now that the Oobleck is just right, it's time to add some color. We save this step for later because it's a fun challenge to stir in the food coloring. You will have to slowly mix the Oobleck around to get it thoroughly mixed.
Step 5: Play with it!
No go ahead and play with the Oobleck. That's the point of all this and you can find lots of tricks to try out. Here's a short list:
- Grab a handful, squeeze it, and let it ooze out your fingers.
- Make a puddle and quickly drag your fingers through it.
- Put it into a plastic container and shake it or quickly bump it against a table.
- Jab at the Oobleck and then slowly let your finger sink in.
- Put it on top of a subwoofer and play some low frequencies at high volume (tough to set up, but worth it)
Have fun and be sure to wash it all off in the end.
Step 6: Oobleck videos
Still not convinced you want to make it? Play some of these videos to see it in action.