We love Oobleck around here. It is non-toxic, super easy to make with items in your pantry, fantastic for all ages, and teaches some fascinating scientific principles. In fact we have created so many Oobleck projects we had people asking for me to put them all together into one big, year long, classroom resource. I’m excited to say it is finally here!
12 Months of Oobleck Projects
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What is Oobleck?
Oobleck, is also known as magic mud, goop, goo, oobleck slime, slime and, of course, for our science minded folks, a non-Newtonian Fluid. It is non-toxic, crazy fun, easy to make, messy and a fantastic sensory experience for kids of all ages.
So what makes it so fascinating? It’s the way it moves! Yes I said moves!
Think for a moment about how water or syrup flow, whether you pour them out of a cup or squish them in your hands, they have a predictable, consistent pattern of movement.
Oobleck is completely baffling and doesn’t behave like a proper liquid at all. Instead of flowing predictably, It becomes solid under pressure. Punch it and it becomes solid, you can even walk on it! Move it around in your hands and it takes on play dough like consistency. Some of our recipes get so hard under pressure I have broken finger nails playing with them!
But here is the extra crazy fun part, open your hands and release that pressure or stop squishing the Oobleck, and it flows like regular liquid between your fingers. Or stop walking/running across it and you will sink.
Are you seeing all the amazing sensory science opportunities here? It is no wonder kids love playing with Oobleck so much! And since it is non-toxic and taste safe (using items in your kitchen right now), you can use it for your preschoolers to teenagers for some messy, fun sensory science.
How Does Oobleck Work?
So how exactly does this crazy substance work? Let’s dig into a little science!
Sir Isaac Newton had a number of theories around fluid dynamics. These laws and rules explained how we could readily predict how liquids behave and their properties. Then we have our rule breaker! With Oobleck we have a non-Newtonian Fluid because it doesn’t follow Newton’s Law of Viscosity. Fluid should not become solid under pressure!
IS Oobleck a Solid or a liquid?
If you have ever played with Oobleck you know it doesn’t behave the way you would expect at all. When you apply force it becomes a solid. You can actually walk on it, or mold it like play dough, as long as you keep the force up.
Remove that pressure and force though, and it will flow through your fingers.
This phenomenon is called “shear thickening” and it occurs in materials made up of microscopic solid particles suspended in a fluid. Oobleck therefore is a suspension. The solid molecules are not dissolving in the liquid, they are simply suspended. When you make Oobleck you will see it quickly separates. The suspended molecules settle to the bottom and the liquid rises to the top of the container.
Also as the name, non-Newtonian Fluid, implies, Oobleck is a fluid. Just a very strangely behaving one!
Want to know more about the science behind Oobleck? We dig into the science in our new printable resource!
How Did Oobleck Get It’s Name?
Although this non-Newtonian Fluid goes by many names, including magic mud, goo, goop, or the most common name is Oobleck. But where did the term “Oobleck” come from? In fact it was created by none other than Dr. Seuss.
Back in 1949 Dr. Seuss wrote a book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck. It is a story about a king who was bored with the weather and asked his team of magicians to create something new to entertain him. The result was this gloopy, sloppy, sticky substance that rained down from the sky on the unsuspecting villagers. A substance that had a lot of properties in common with our beloved non-Newtonian Fluid. It may not have been intentional, but it is a fantastic story of how this magical substance got its name.
How to Make Oobleck
There are many different ways to make Oobleck, the most common uses Corn Starch, but there are many other recipes which makes Oobleck the perfect project for a year long study!
That’s where our new printable resource comes in.
Oobleck Sensory Science provides a detailed background on Oobleck and how it works. Including lots of extra science for your curious scientists!
In addition, we have included a full year of recipes, science experiments, and activities for your home or classroom. Every month you can explore something new about Oobleck.
Here is just a sample of what’s included:
5 Proven Recipes
Science Fair Project
Oobleck Recipes and Projects to Celebrate Holidays & Seasons
Science Experiments using Oobleck
Fun Sensory Games and More!
Interested in learning more and incorporating Oobleck into your lessons this year? Check out our Oobleck Sensory Science book now! It is available on Teachers Paying Teachers or in our Store as a immediate delivery, printable PDF.