The idea came from the blog, two-daloo and her beautiful post about playing with a non-Newtonian fluid.
How does this bit of fun come to be? You start with bath tablets broken into pieces and scattered around the bottom of a roasting pan. In a separate bowl, you mix water and cornstarch in a 2 cups of cornstarch to 1 cup of water ratio. Pour over the bath tablets (which incidentally, I would never use in a bath as they stained my hands – isn’t that defeating the point of the bath?) and watch the fireworks!
There were many things to like about this science experiment. First, I screwed up the recipe initially and accidentally mixed the ratio between cornstarch and water which was making for some very watery ooblek and not really attaining the non-Newtonian fluid status I was hoping to achieve. But, the bath tabs saved my bum by just being cool and explosive. The children were having fun mixing and playing with those while I tried to work it out. After observing one of the children constantly scraping the bottom of her pan, I did that with one of the mini-ion’s pans and discovered the oobleky goodness on the bottom and was able to adjust the rest of the children.
Second, through the smart thinking of one of the other moms (who has saved me in previous experiments), the addition of the stirrers and then spoons for the children that never wanted to touch it (I get it!) or those that needed to warm up to the idea of touching it. The spoons gave a nice way to still interact at their comfort zone.
Finally, being able to walk around saying we were playing with non-Newtonian fluid was pretty awesome too. Non-Newtonian fluid is something that acts like a fluid when it is being poured, but acts like a solid when something acts on it. Once we got it working, moms and children alike were oooing and ahhhhing over it. Scraping up these hard chunks and watching them ooze out of your hand like a liquid was seriously cool.
What’s holding you back from playing with ooblek? We did it with about 15 children and had a colorful blast!