Using just two common household ingredients, you can create a fun science experiment your kids will love. And when you mix in holiday elements, this cool activity becomes a great way to celebrate. Make this easy Easter oobleck recipe with your kids to have some messy fun as they learn during this holiday season.We love finding interactive ways to learn. And with the help of this quick and easy science experiment, your kids can explore and learn in unique ways. As your kids play with this squishy goo, they’ll learn all about the properties of matter and have a little messy fun, too!
Easter Oobleck Recipe
- 6 cups cornstarch
- 3 cups water
- blue, pink, and yellow food dye
- baking dish
- Easter cookie cutters
- stretchy or bendy bunnies
- plastic eggs
- Stir some pink food dye into 1 cup of water.
- Mix the pink water with 2 cups of cornstarch to make pink oobleck.
- Put the pink oobleck in one section of a baking dish.
- Follow the same instructions to create blue oobleck and then again to create yellow.
- Drop some Easter cookie cutters, stretchy bunnies, and plastic eggs in.
- Invite your child to play!
The Science of Oobleck
After making and playing with oobleck, you may be wondering if it’s a liquid or a solid. The answer to that question is a little more complicated than simply picking one quality or the other. In fact, oobleck is what’s called a non-Newtonian fluid or a suspension. That means it can mimic the qualities of both a solid and a liquid.
All fluids have a state of viscosity, which describes how the fluid flows or how thick the fluid is. Since oobleck can change between a solid and liquid state, its viscosity is not constant. That means it’s a non-Newtonian fluid, which has an inconstant viscosity. And oobleck is just one example of this type of material. Other non-Newtonian fluids include silly putty and ketchup.
Since oobleck is made up of two ingredients, it’s the combination of those ingredients that creates a unique substance with its own unique properties. Since cornstarch particles are so much smaller than other substances, like sand or dirt, they are more susceptible to thermal forces. When the substance is sitting still, the granules of cornstarch are surrounded by the water molecules.
The surface tension of the molecules keeps it from flowing out of the cornstarch. And the lubrication from the water allows the cornstarch granules to move more freely and behave like a liquid. But when friction occurs, the particles move more like a solid.
Oobleck can also be made with other solids such as baby powder, tapioca flour, potato starch, and more. You can find those unique oobleck recipes here.
After explaining this cool scientific concept to your kids, they’ll probably be ready to start exploring! Use different tools and toys to experiment with the Easter oobleck for tons of educational fun. Try these experiments with your kids:
- Place the oobleck inside a glass. Let the oobleck sit in the glass for a few hours and see what happens. As the goo sits in the cup, you’ll see the liquid and solid elements begin to separate.
- Stir it with a spoon. Stirring the oobleck with a spoon will force the ingredients to mix, causing the oobleck to stiffen. See how long it takes before the spoon becomes “stuck” in the oobleck.
- Hit the oobleck between your palms. When you apply pressure to the substance, it becomes less viscous. Notice how hard the substance becomes each time it is hit.
- Squeeze and release. Watch the oobleck change states right before your eyes. As you squeeze the goo in your hand and apply pressure to the substance, it will become solid. But when you release the pressure and open your hand, it will turn into a liquid and flow between your fingers.
- Use cookie cutters. Try using the cookie cutters while the substance is in different states. How do the cookie cutters work when the goo is in liquid form? How do they work when the oobleck is solid?
- Compare oobleck to plain water or plain cornstarch. Compare the two ingredients in the recipe to the completed recipe and record the observations. How does oobleck differ from plain water and plain cornstarch? What happens when you slap each ingredient compared to slapping oobleck? What does each item do when held in your hand? See what you can discover.
What is Oobleck?
Now that you know the science behind this fun substance, why not learn about its history? The concept of oobleck was dreamt up by Dr. Seuss in his book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck. In the story, the oobleck is a mysterious substance that falls from the sky when the king becomes bored with normal weather.
With this recipe, you can mimic the goo found in this fun kid’s book, making it a great activity to do with your kids when studying Dr. Seuss. But when you add in toys and seasonal elements, you can use this cool science experiment for any holiday you choose.
Here are some of our other oobleck recipes and activities: