Friday, December 20, 2013

Ooh, ooh, oobleck

Every year, I try to get my kids to mass produce presents (I call this X-mass production).  We've done decorated soap dispensers, to great general happiness.

One year, we did muffin mix.  Another year, we did ginger peach jam.  This year, N-son made his favorite pickled papers.

But then we went to a hip-hop concert that had a kids' fair beforehand, and the kids went crazy over a science museum display of oobleck -- a mixture of cornstarch and water.  And so this week, at home, we had an oobleck fest.

First, the "boring" part:  force the kids to make the cards that will go with the jars of oobleck:
 Then give each kid a bowl with 1 cup of water and another bowl with 1.5 cups of cornstarch.
 The kids add the cornstarch bit-by-bit, stirring carefully with each spoonful they add. J-son is a ham.
At some point, it becomes hard to stir with a spoon . . .
 At this point, it's become a "non-Newtonian substance":  it acts like a solid if you hit it, but like a liquid if you let it sit or ooze through your fingers.  So it's easier to stir by hand . . .
 We add food coloring at this point. At first the color is nearly invisible in the batter.

But it's a lot of fun to slowly and ookily mix it in . . .  

 Here's my favorite picture of the evening: the multicolored hands of my family.

We packaged the oobleck into jars, and we'll be ready to delight our relatives with their own non-Newtonian fun on Christmas.

And bonus . . . despite all the mess that you see floating around in these pictures, clean-up was surprisingly easy.

1 comment:

  1. My kids learned about this and loved it! It is such a cool substance to play with. Merry Christmas to you and yours.