Looking for an easy Christmas sensory activity? This Candy Cane Oobleck recipe requires only 3 ingredients and is ooey-gooey fun! It combines sensory play with science for lots of holiday fun.My kids love playing with oobleck and this candy cane themed one was especially fun. They enjoyed creating patterns and molding and squishing it into a ball and then watching as that ball turned to liquid and slid off their hands.
What is oobleck?
Oobleck is a sensory play material that acts like a solid when under pressure but is a liquid at rest. That’s where the science of it all comes in. Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid because it can mimic the properties of both a solid and a liquid.
This festive Christmas offers a way to combine science discovery with sensory play.
Candy Cane Oobleck Recipe:
- 4 cups cornstarch
- 2 cups water
- red food dye
- baking dish
- optional: peppermint essential oil
- optional: plastic candy canes, pretend peppermints, and holiday cookie cutters
- Make one batch of white oobleck by mixing together 2 cups of cornstarch and 1 cup of water in a bowl.
- Pour it into a glass baking dish to form a single layer.
- Stir some red food dye into 1 cup of water.
- Mix the red water with 2 cups of cornstarch to make red oobleck.
- If you want, you can stir in a few drops of peppermint essential oil to make the oobleck smell like candy canes too.
- Drizzle the red oobleck over the white.
- Drop some mini candy canes in there if you want or some Christmas cookie cutters or plastic candy canes and pretend peppermints.
- Invite kids to play.
There is so much great sensory input in this activity. It provides wonderful tactile input, visual input, proprioceptive input, and if you use scent, olfactory input. Kids can squish it, squeeze it, tap it, drizzle it, smush it around, and pour it.
The science of it all:
I always find that kids learn best when they don’t even realize they’re learning. Invite your child or students to explore the oobleck and talk about their observations.
When does the oobleck behave like a solid? When does it behave like a liquid?
Discuss states of matter.
Read about Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids.
- Oobleck doesn’t keep as well as slime or playdough so it’s best to make it the same day you want to play with it.
- Never dispose of oobleck down the sink or it will clog your drain. Just allow it to dry a bit and scrape it directly into the garbage.
- Adult supervision should be used at all times with this or any sensory play activity.
- Although this recipe is technically taste-safe, I wouldn’t recommend eating it!
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Check out these other Christmas sensory activities:
Kristina L says
we like the what we call them “wet” balls.
I like water beads, sand, beans or rice. these are always fun things to use and the kids enjoy.
What a great article! we do lots of science project with my student-from playdoh making to electricity circuits. Gonna try ooblek !
Rosanne Robinson says
We like using sand & playdough.
Rosemary Stephens says
My favorite sensory activity is clean mud or slime 🙂
Ali L. says
Body sock games, water beads, and mini-trampoline!
Stephanie E Owen says
I love making Oobleck with my class of one year olds.
I love anything messy!!!!!!!!!!!!
Angela Cox says
water beads are so fun
Cameo Slaybaugh says
We love all of the different types of sensory items. A big favorite are the sensory bottles. We even made one that hade a “jellyfish” (actually part of a clear plastic grocery bag) that floated up and down.
Play dough and slime are always favorites! It’s tough to do as much sensory play at school this year but I’m trying to incorporate it as much as I can!
Michelle J. says
Amanda D. says
We love to use moon dough.
Elisha Beeson says
The sand and water tables
We love water beads
My students love making a mess, I love watching them make the mess!
We love making slime!
Jeanette Jackson says
My grandson likes slime
Melissa LaRue says
My kids are Ooblek fanatics!! The candy cane is such a fun idea!
Buddy Garrett says
We love PlayDough.
Renee Coggins says
So many fun ones–Oobleck, playdough, kinesthetic sand,…
Amanda Whitley says
we love to play with the water beads
Mary Ann Loreng says
I love to use water beads, Oobleck, shaving cream, and making “snow” from creme rinse and baking soda.
Dynal Roberson says
My daughter loves orbees
Sara Zielinski says
I love perler beads, fun for kids and adults.
I like using shaving cream, colored sand, and homemade play dough.