Written on August 20, 2007 by Kevin.
Oobleck, something my wife remembers from childhood and has been talking about for years now. She has been waiting for a long time to show this nifty trick to Rylan. When she talked about Oobleck, I had no idea what it was. I was never a huge fan of the Dr. Seuss books so this one slipped by me. Turns out though that I did know what Oobleck was except for the name. I remember from the Mr. Wizard show, learning about this amazing little trick.
So what is Oobleck? From Wikipedia.. The word has since been used to describe a substance that is used as a science aid to teach children about liquids and solids. This oobleck is created from cornstarch OR potato flour (1 part water to 1.5-2 parts cornstarch/potato flour. Depending on what kind you want to have; the more starch, the more solid). Though initially it acts like a liquid or a jelly, squeezing it in your hand will make it appear to be a solid for a short time. The slime-like substance also behaves in an interesting manner when thrown in the air, molded, heated, or vibrated. Substances like this that become more viscous when agitated or compressed are a subset of non-Newtonian fluids called dilatants.
Simple as that.
Rylan had a good time playing with the Oobleck we made for him. It took him a bit to warm up to the idea of touching it and having it ooze off his hands but eventually he got into it. If you leave your hands on it, they will sink a bit and be difficult to pull out which Rylan seemed to have fun with. He enjoyed watching it ooze off his hands.
This would be a great rainy day project. It definitely is going in our books of activities. It really is fun for everyone in the family.