Homemade Goop is one of the best things I’ve learned how to make as a parent, and today I’m going to share this big secret on how to make goop aka how to make oobleck.
It’s the easiest recipe, and full of so much fun for small children.
Have you tried it? The recipe is simple and children are riveted by the magic of this weird substance.
Fun History of Goop
Goop, better known as Oobleck (named for a slime in Dr. Seuss’ book Bartholomew and the Oobleck ) is a fun material to play with: At one moment it’s a solid, and at the next it’s a liquid…it’s unbelievably silly to play with, and I’ve witnessed adults get lost in the strange sensation of its texture. For my science friends out there, this is a dilatant material, which is one that changes its properties in reaction to external stimuli. We don’t have the Dr. Seuss book (yet!), but I imagine it would be fun to read the book in conjunction with this activity.
How to get the most out of your Goop
To get the most bang for your buck, do what I did and set up this goop-making activity up as a 3-part activity to enable your child to experience the medium in multiple ways.
- 16 oz. container of Cornstarch (this is corn flour in the U.K.)
- Up to 1 cup of water
- Liquid watercolors or food coloring (optional)
- Big tub for mixing — I used an under-the-bed storage container. Contains the mess well so my child can play unencumbered by my tidy concerns
- Spoons, little bowls, toys for playing, scooping, and filling
How to Make Goop
- Set up a large container such as an under-bed tub
- There are two ingredients in this recipe: cornstarch and water. If you don’t have the same quantities as us, the ratio is one part water and two parts cornstarch.
- Pour one 16 oz. container of cornstarch into the tub
- Pour almost all of water on the cornstarch, around 3/4 cups. Mix the water and cornstarch together with your hands. Add the rest of the water to make the consistency more liquid. Play with the ratio.
- Add food coloring or liquid watercolors to make it colorful.
How we did it…
How to Make Goop: Part 1
I placed the jar of corn starch in the tub, alongside a spoon and a couple small bowls. I expected my daughter to pour the whole tub of corn starch out, but she carefully scooped it from the container spoonful by spoonful. This took a while, as she was wholly invested in the process of measuring and then pouring. Once playing with dry corn starch ran its course…
How to Make Goop: Part 2
We added water. I gave her just a bit at a time, so she could enjoy the process of mixing it in. Ultimately, the cornstarch:water ratio is about 2:1. And as we went along, we chatted about what it felt like in our hands, if it was easy/hard to stir, and what we were doing. And once she seemed to have her fill of playing with this funny material…
How to Make Goop: Part 3
We added a few drops of liquid watercolor to the Oobleck (food coloring would also work), which she swirled around and mixed up. She was really interested in dropping the color into the mixture, but stirring it up barely sustained her interest. After focused play with the Oobleck for the last 30 minutes, she seemed to have had enough…ready to move on to the next big thing.
If you try this (or already have it under your belt), I’d love to hear from you!
More Playdough and Sensory Activities
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