Using sticks and flowers to explore non-Newtonian fluid properties of oobleck

Summer Flower Oobleck Recipe

Summer is coming and we are loving the gorgeous weather after a brutally cold winter. To celebrate we made a batch of Summer Flower Oobleck with fresh flowers and it was so gorgeous! This is one of our favourite summer kids activity to do in the backyard or schoolyard. Kids of all ages LOVE Oobleck, which is sometimes solid, sometimes liquid, and all around amazing! Add in beautiful flowers, and kids can’t resist this gorgeous sensory play experience.

How To Make Oobleck With Flowers For Summer Kids Activity

Boy holding purple flower over bowl of oobleck out in the sun

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We live in Canada and that means that a lot of the year we are really limited in our outdoor activities. So when the warmer temperatures arrive, we can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the sun on our skin again!

With the weather finally improving I wanted to get everyone outdoors for some sensory science exploration with Oobleck. Non-Newtonian Fluids can be messy and I love taking it outside where the kids can be as messy as their hearts desire!

Since it is spring and the flowers are starting to bloom, I wanted to capture that and explore it with our Oobleck. The result was this stunning Flower Oobleck. It was so pretty and smelled so good! Everyone had a great time digging in and enjoying messy, sensory play.

I apologize up front for the number of photos in this article. It was just so pretty and the kids went nuts playing, learning and having fun under the sun with our flower Oobleck! I couldn’t help taking tons of photos!

Summer Science Experiment with Flower Oobleck

Oobleck Recipe

This recipe is so easy to make! We used cornstarch for this recipe. Normally we prefer potato starch for our Oobleck recipes, but I ran out after using all of my potato starch to make Moon Dough.

Did you know you can also make Oobleck with Tapioca Flour, Arrowroot Flour, Baby Powder or, as I already mentioned, Cornstarch and Potato Starch? You can get the recipes for all these variations from our Science Fair Oobleck study that compared all of these recipes.

You will need:
2 Cups Cornstarch
1 Cup Water
Green Food Colouring
Fresh Flowers, Leaves, Sticks, etc.
A bowl or bin

Food Coloring - 12 Color Bright Rainbow Cake Food Coloring Set for Baking, Decorating, Icing and Cooking - Assorted Variety Liquid Food Color Dye for Slime Making and DIY Crafts - .25 fl. oz. BottlesAnthony's Organic Cornstarch (2lb), Gluten Free, Vegan & Non-GMOAnthony's Organic Potato Starch - Unmodified (2 Pounds), Gluten-Free & Non-GMO, Resistant Starch

 

Bowl of green oobleck with fresh flowers

How to Make Flower Oobleck

Measure out 1 cup of water and add a few drops of green food colouring. Stir.

In your bowl or bin that the kids will be playing in add 2 cups of cornstarch and the coloured water.

Start stirring and mixing it all together. It will immediately start showing it’s non-Newtonian properties. Remember, patience is key to mixing it all together.


Flower Oobleck Video


Flower Oobleck is a gorgeous, colourful summer science experiment

Once it is all mixed add flowers, leaves and little sticks and let the kids play.

Tips For Playing With Oobleck Outdoors

This is an amazing outdoor sensory science play activity. Kids love getting messy with Oobleck. If they splash it about, don’t worry, it is non-toxic, so simply rinse the area with a hose to clean up any splatters.

Make sure you keep some water around. It was quite warm on the day we were playing with our flower Oobleck and the water from our mixture started evaporating, making it much more solid and dry. Simply adding a tablespoon of water got us back to our non-Newtonian Fluid textures.

There are so many ways to explore. One of the things the kids loved doing was pouring Oobleck over the flowers to see how the Oobleck moved and changed, plus how it affected the flowers.

Flower Oobleck Sensory Science Playing in the Sun

Sticks make a great tool for poking, scooping and exploring Oobleck. The flowers will lose their petals if kids pull to hard trying to remove them from the Oobleck. This is a great opportunity for them to practice gentle hands and patience as they carefully extract flowers from the Oobleck mix.

Using sticks and flowers to explore non-Newtonian fluid properties of oobleck

When you are done playing with the Oobleck, scrape it all into the garbage. Don’t rinse it down the drain as it can cause damage to your pipes.

The Science Of Non-Newtonian Fluids and 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 Oobleck so fascinating? It’s the way it moves! Yes I said moves!

Picture how water or syrup flows. Whether you pour them out of a cup or squish them in your hands, they have a predictable, consistent pattern of movement. Isaac Newton explored this in his laws of Fluid Dynamics which explain how viscosity and density affect the flow and movement of liquids.

Oobleck breaks all the rules which is why it is called a non-Newtonian Fluid. It doesn’t behave like a proper liquid at all. Instead of flowing predictably, Oobleck becomes solid under pressure. Punch it and it is like hitting a wall, you can even walk on it! Move it around in your hands and it takes on play dough like consistency.

But open your hands and release that pressure or stop squishing the Oobleck, and it flows like regular liquid between your fingers.

Watching properties of non-Newtonian Fluid Oobleck in flower recipe

Is Oobleck A Solid or Liquid?

As the scientific name implies, non-Newtonian liquids are still liquids. Even if they do become solid under pressure.

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 liquid 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.

Have fun this summer getting outside, exploring nature, and learning all about science with hands on fun! Let their imaginations go wild!

Flower Math Mats Printable

Keep the learning going with these fun Math Mats Printable, that uses flowers to develop counting and early math literacy skills. This printable is free for all STEAM Powered Family mailing list members, simply enter your email to unlock the printable.


Gorgeous, colourful flower oobleck for summer science fun

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