Thursday, October 29, 2015


Tuesday was a cold, rainy day. Jackson didn't have school. After going out of town the previous day, I didn't feel like going anywhere. We stayed in our pajamas (or dress up clothes) all day. It was fun at first, but the toddlers were getting antsy and Jackson grew bored. I rummaged through the pantry to find something to entertain us. After finding a box of corn starch, I knew exactly what we were going to do.

Oobleck is a fun science project you can make with kids of all ages. Simply mixing 1 cup of water with 1.5-2 cups of corn starch will create a perplexing substance that acts as both a liquid and a solid. I've made it in classrooms and with Jackson many times, but this week was the first time the trio made it.

The first step is to gather materials. Oobleck can be messy, even with older kids. With four kids ages four and under, I played it safe by placing a tarp under the table and a tablecloth on top. I gave each kid a round cake pan and utensil. I also collected a pitcher of water, measuring cup, bowl, and box of corn starch. 

I let each kid pour one cup of water into their pan. While unnecessary, I also let them pick out food coloring so they could dye their slime. I placed a few drops of food coloring in each pan and had them stir it. I could have stopped here, since James was more than content with this step.

Next, everyone added 1.5 cups of cornstarch into their pan.

We've done enough baking so all of the kids are pretty good at mixing wet and dry ingredients.

Once the substance thickened, I encouraged everyone to use their hands to explore the texture.

Maddie copied most everything Jackson did. She was very enthusiastic and vocal, making sure I watched her.

The kids played with their Oobleck for almost an hour. They tried to pour it, cut it, let it drip from their fingers, scoop it up, etc. I sat beside James since he was the most animated, splattering blue goo everywhere. I could have easily extended the activity by giving them different utensils (plastic knife, ladle, spatula) and other sized containers to try and transfer the slime. 

I needed to fix lunch and couldn't leave them unsupervised, so I eventually called it quits. I had wet hand towels ready to go, making clean up quick and easy. Miraculously, there were no Oobleck handprints on the couch. I threw the tablecloth away and tossed the tarp over the deck railing. The house was clean in less than 10 minutes.

I'm proud of how well the trio handled their first science experiment. They didn't try to eat it. They listened to directions and kept their mess confined to one area. This makes me excited to try similar activities with them.

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