Sensory play is a term for anything that kids can play with that feels different.. wet, sticky, slimy, etc. Slime has become the queen mother of all sensory play in this generation, but “Oobleck” is still my absolute favorite because of it’s unique properties. AND because it only requires TWO ingredients.
Why Oobleck Is Great Sensory Play
Looking for a fun and playful way to get your little ones engaging with their senses? Want to begin to introduce your kids to cool scientific concepts so they can blow other peoples’ minds with their genius?
Look no further than oobleck—a fantastic sensory experience that’s easy to make at home with just a few ingredients.
Not only does oobleck provide a tactile and visually stimulating experience, but it’s also a great way for kids to learn about concepts like viscosity and non-Newtonian fluids. Plus, it’s totally awesome to play with!
To make your own oobleck at home, all you’ll need is:
- 1 cup of cornstarch
- 1/2 cup of water
- Food coloring (optional)
Simply mix the cornstarch and water together until you achieve a thick, goopy consistency. Add food coloring if desired for a pop of color. Then, let your little ones go wild!
As they play with the oobleck, they’ll notice that it behaves in a unique way—it’s not quite a liquid, but not quite a solid either. They can experiment with squeezing it, molding it, and watching it ooze and drip through their fingers. After giving them some time to explore on their own, encourage kids to verbalize their observations.
Teach Kids The Science Behind Oobleck
As they are playing, introduce a tray or bowl of water. Keep it separate from the oobleck, but encourage students to handle the water as well. Encourage them to verbalize the differences.
Now you can introduce them them to a very important (and super-smart-sounding) term:
A non-Newtonian fluid is a fluid with characteristics that don’t follow the rules of Newtonian fluids (like water, but don’t mention that to your students yet). These fluids can change their properties under different conditions, such as with temperature or pressure.
non-Newtonian fluids also have unique responses to forces applied to them – for example, they may become thicker or more solid when pressure is applied, instead of simply flowing like water would.
Ask kids to describe which substance (water or oobleck) is Newtonian and which is non-Newtonian. Make sure they can explain WHY they think that as well!
Oobleck is a fun way to stimulate your child’s senses and provide a tactile experience. This also makes it a great tool for occupational therapy and sensory integration.
So the next time you’re looking for a hands-on activity to do with your kids, whip up a batch of oobleck, start talking about Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids, and watch as they explore the fascinating world of science!
Leave a Reply