Recipes for Oobleck, slime, and magic mud are everywhere, but all you need to know is that cornstarch and water makes for major fun for kiddos. You probably already have a package of cornstarch in your kitchen – it’s one of those ingredients that, when called for, you only use a little bit and then have a ton leftover that takes forever to use up. If you do have to buy it, it runs pretty cheap at the store. Don’t bother with the boxes that can spill all over the cabinet; instead, you can get cornstarch in a nice plastic tub with a screw-on lid, and it keeps practically forever.
The fun for kids starts when mixing it up. Grab your mixing bowl and add about a cup of cornstarch and 1/2 cup of water. Stir it up (be prepared, this stuff acts weird – if you want to get scientific, it’s called a non-Newtonian fluid), and feel free to add a little more cornstarch or a little more water to get the right texture. You can add a bit of food coloring too, but food coloring can sometimes stain, so use caution.
The easiest way for Aoife to play with it is to pour it on the tray of her high chair. Keep in mind, even though Oobleck is made with edible ingredients, it really shouldn’t be eaten. We get about 20 minutes of playtime before Aoife starts trying to test the limits and put it in her mouth, which is longer than we get with Play-Doh. If you’ve got older kids (let’s be real, this stuff is fun to play with at any age), the fun will probably last even longer.
Oobleck (named for the Dr. Seuss book) acts like both a solid and a liquid depending on what you’re doing with it. If you smack it, it feels solid, but if you rest your fingers on it or put it in your palm, it will run like liquid. To clean up, simply run the tray and
your your toddler’s hands under running water.
For something a little more contained, you can also pour your original cornstarch/water mixture into a Ziploc bag. It will still feel cool and act crazy like Oobleck does, but there will be even less mess. If you’re ready to kick it up a notch, you can try Dancing Oobleck! We haven’t done this yet, but it looks awesome. And for more fun, check out a couple of videos of people walking on Oobleck. Then go try this crazy stuff for yourself!