Timeout Tuesday

Oobleck Art

Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid; it has properties of both liquids and solids. You can slowly dip your hand into it like a liquid, but if you squeeze the oobleck or punch it, it will feel solid. The name oobleck comes from the Dr. Seuss book, “Bartholomew and theOobleck.”Jul 11, 2012 (via LiveScience.com)

I hadn’t realised, when I first made this for my son that it was what I actually produced.

Oobleck.

It’s such a fun word to say and even more fun to play with. We haven’t really done the type of oobleck experiments that can be found all over the internet (practising not capitalising the “i” since AP says it will no longer be capitalised by mid-year). But this weekend, I did introduce my son to the wonders of the stuff.

In this version, I used a 1:2 ratio of water to cornstarch. I find it’s much easier to work with coloured water and then adding cornstarch to it rather than mixing the oobleck and then adding food dye. Just drop in as much or as little food dye as you want, really. It will all depend on the food dye you use how it will end up looking. As you’ll see in the pictures, we got lovely pastel colours out of our mix.

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I did not mean for him to catch me making the stuff; I wanted him to play with this the day after I made it but having seen me at work, there was no stopping him from wanting to jump in and start playing with his liquid sidewalk chalk a.k.a. coloured oobleck.

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To start with, I was using a metal chopstick to break everything up and mix it all together. But by the time he joined in the mixing, the cornstarch would soak up so much fluid and become almost completely solid that it was hard to really get everything combined properly. We ended up using a spoon to make things go faster.

And here’s how he used it:

What I love most about squeeze bottles is that it’s a hand strengthening exercise that will prepare him for manipulating writing and cutting materials. I noticed, too, that he’s gotten so much better at keeping his hands steady while building his wooden block towers.

Win and win.

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