The Amazing Oobleck!

Here's what you'll need...
  • A bowl or a cup (start with a small container at first)
  • Water
  • Cornstarch
  • A spoon
  • Warning: You will get messy. But it's ok to get messy once in a while!

Oobleck is strange stuff. What's that you say? You've never heard of oobleck. Well, it is time to stop everything, gather the family and get messy!

Oobleck is weird because it does not behave like you'd think. It can ooze like a liquid, but when a sharp force is applied, the oobleck stands its ground and becomes ridgid like a solid.

So let's make some already!

Oobleck can be a tricky recipe at first. You need 2 parts cornstarch to 1.5 parts water. Even just a little too much of one ingredient can throw off our results. First, grab your container. I personally like to use a 3 oz. Dixie cup to mix up my oobleck. Add a spoonful of water to your cup.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "That's not that much water. I bet I need more." Actaully, you probably don't. Most of the time this small amount of water is just right.

So now that have have some water in the cup, let's add a spoonful of cornstarch. Be careful not to make a huge, mounded, heaping spoonful. A healthy spoonful will work just fine.

Once both ingredients are in the cup, stir! If the mixture looks like milk, you've got too much water and you need more cornstarch. If the mixture looks powdery, then there is too much cornstarch. But, if you find that the mixture is getting hard to stir and looks like a thick ooze, you've got it just right!

I like to pair my Oobleck with the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. You can read the book and then make your own oobleck to squish between your fingers.

There are lots of ways to play with and discover science through this weird mixture! Try this: Make a whole cup full of oobleck! Now rest your spoon on top of the oobleck. What happens? What happens if you try to pull your spoon out of the oobleck really fast?