Are you looking for some fun-filled and engaging activity for your child? What if we give a list of super-cool activities that also tell a thing or two about science to them? Are you ready? Since the kids love messy activities, so let’s start with one!
Fun with Oobleck
Interestingly, the name ‘Oobleck’ comes from the famous children’s story writer Dr. Seuss book, “Bartholomew and the Oobleck.” In the story, oobleck, a gooey green substance, fell from the sky and wreaked havoc in the kingdom.
Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid, which becomes solid under pressure and flows like a liquid in absence of pressure! Very interesting to play with!!
To make your own, you will need:
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups cornstarch
- Food color (optional)
- A large mixing bowl
- Start by adding some water to the bowl and add cornstarch bit by bit while mixing
- You can add some food color in a little amount of water and add the colored water to the mixture at this stage
- Keep adding in cornstarch and stirring until it reaches a gooey consistency.
- If the mixture is still looking a bit watery, add a little more cornstarch.
- Play with it!
Here are some ideas for playing with your magic goo:
- Have a win-win game with a friend. Show the Oobleck to him and ask if it is solid or liquid. Now, ask him to punch the oobleck while it is in the bowl. Is it liquid or solid?
- Make some red color Oobleck. Grab a handful and squeeze it. Let it ooze through your fingers for your imitation of dripping blood like the horror movies!
- Make an Oobleck puddle and quickly drag your fingers through it.
- Put it into a plastic container and shake it or quickly bump it against a table. Turn it into a magic trick to scare your mom!
- Jab at the mixture and then slowly let your finger sink in.
- Roll some Oobleck into a ball. It becomes solid, but when you stop moving it, it will melt back into your hand.
The Science of Oobleck
To solidify a normal liquid like water, what would you do? You will decrease the temperature. In case of this Oobleck, the scenario is somewhat different, because the surface of the Oobleck becomes hard when pressure is applied over the surface of the liquid. As soon as you release the pressure applied over its surface, it becomes liquid. The reason behind this behavior is interesting: the reason behind the solidification of the surface of the Oobleck lies in the fact that the cornstarch molecules are large in size. They are forced to come together and form a solid surface! So, the pressure applied by you is the main cause of solidification. Such kind of pressure dependent liquids are termed as non—Newtonian liquid as they don’t follow the laws given by Newton for the behavior of viscosity.
Does science sound fun to you? Why don’t you try our Science O’ Fun boxes?