How to Make Goop

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. 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.

How to make Goop :: Tinkerlab.com

 

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.

Stretch this project out

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.

How to make Goop :: Tinkerlab.com

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. container of Cornstarch
  • Up to 1 cup of water
  • Liquid watercolors or food coloring (optional)

Supplies

  • 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 :: Tinkerlab.com

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 :: Tinkerlab.com

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 :: Tinkerlab.com

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!

Comments

  1. says

    Oh, how funny. I almost did this with my toddler last week (there’s a nice activity involving food coloring in one of the books I own), but we did something else instead. It’s in the back of my mind, though.

    • rachelle says

      There are so many possibilities with food coloring…I think it’s a secret staple of parenting! It’s just too bad that they still make the bottles so tiny.

  2. says

    I haven’t done this one for a while, it is so much fun. Great idea to let her mix the ingredients! Guess what we’re doing today? hee hee

  3. says

    fabulous! and if after mixing food coloring we add flour-dont we have playdough. oh yah, you have to heat the mixture. why not.
    I’ll try it.

    • rachelle says

      I love where this is going…it’s an art experiment for kids and mom! Please update me on how this turns out.

  4. says

    When we make it, we’re mixing up a huge classroom sized batch and keep it for an entire week. The challenge is that the corn starch and water tend to separate overnight and it’s a major chore to remix it in the morning, but worth it. The kids are usually crazy for it for a couple days and then the adults take over for the second half of the week!

    I’ve heard this substance described as an anti-Newtonian product because when you try to splash it, there is not “equal and opposite reaction.”

    • rachelle says

      I’ve seen adults go ga-ga over this stuff, too. Maybe those of us who never played with this substance as kids are making up for it now :) I also came across the anti-Newtonian point, and I can see why!

  5. says

    You know, I have to say that I appreciate you having that makeshift sensory table in your home – its nice to see how often you use it, and how engaged your daughter is. more exciting than TV and other screen time for sure. This might be in our classroom sensory table soon!

    • rachelle says

      Our little “sensory table” has been one of the best purchases! We had too many spills out of little bowls before I realized I could steal a page out of the Preschool Teachers’ Book of Tricks.

  6. says

    I just did this today with my 20 month old. It was super messy and so much fun. Equally fun for me. What an incredible reaction. I kept telling my husband to come over and look. It’s wild how it goes from solid to liquid over and over so quickly. Anyway, thanks so much for the great directions. Love your blog! Meri

  7. Lala Jenkins says

    i did this when i was a kid and its nice to know i wasn’t the only one. My daughter and son tried to have a goo war but they would roll it up get ready to throw it and then it would go to a liquid. i laughed and told them keep trying