We made oobleck. God help me, we made oobleck.
I’m still cleaning it up, but it was the most awesome thing ever and it kept the kids amused (and amessed) for hours.
Oobleck is named for the Dr Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck where King Derwin of Didd commands his magicians to create something completely different to rain from the sky – enter the oobleck. Man, if this stuff was ever actually raining from the sky, we’d never get anything done. It’s a nice book – one of the more readable Seussy’s out there.
There is science behind all this ooblecky merriment. Oobleck is what’s known as a non-Newtonian fluid – a pressure-dependent substance that defies Newton’s observation that liquids flow at a consistent, predictable rate. Ooleck is a suspension, meaning that the cornflour does not actually dissolve in the water, but rather sits on top of it like a raging bully. Applying pressure increases the viscosity, forcing the solid particles together – the bully reigns supreme. Mixing without pressure (as in slowly moving your hand into the mix) gives the particles time to get out the way – the bully is defeated.
Here’s how you make it:
2 cups cornflour
1 cup water
Food colouring (we used gels)
Start by just putting the cornflour into a really large tub and have a play around. It feels great. With a bit of luck, this is where the fun can begin and end.
If you need to up the fun factor, tip in the water and a little food colouring and mix the lot together.
Now you can oobleck your cares away!
The mess washes away with the hose. Actually, I don’t think it ever washes away, but it’s worth it. Mostly.