Did you know we’ve been working through the alphabet, sharing a sensory activity for each letter? We’re on Letter Y now — and no, we’re not almost done. We took the letters out of order, starting with those easiest to write. Y is about in the middle.
What to do for a sensory activity with Y? Somehow I didn’t think my kids would get too excited about a box of yarn. We’re pretty limited with letter Y…. hey, how about yuck?
I searched Pinterest and found a lot of fun ideas for yucky sensory play. Finally I narrowed it down to this timeless activity that many moms do at home and that I did in my classroom as a science lesson. I have four small kids (6, 5, 3, 1). By the time this is posted, we will, Lord willing, be very close to having a new baby. (Update: due in 5 days, but no baby yet!)
For now I’m 7 months pregnant. And I’ve got to keep life simple.
Two ingredients? And one of them is water? I can handle that.
First we read the classic Bartholomew and the Oobleck. I loved this book growing up but hadn’t read it to my own kids yet. At first they weren’t so sure – while they love listening to books, this is a long one which is mostly in black and white. But the older kids were hooked after the first page.
When I told them we were going to make our own oobleck, they were pumped.
I moved our plastic kids’ table out of the playroom and onto the kitchen floor. The kids were dressed in Daddy’s old T-shirts. I’m pretty sure oobleck comes out of clothes pretty easily, but I didn’t want to have everyone change after this activity. Simple, remember? After I gave each of them a plastic container, we were good to go.
Here were our ingredients: corn starch and colored water. Yes, that’s really it. You don’t even need to color the water. Figure about 1/2 cup water to every cup of corn starch. Give or take. It’s not an exact science.
We started with the corn starch. I gave about a cup to each of the kids, and they had some fun just playing with that for a few minutes.
Next we added the water. I recommend letting the kids mix it up with their hands instead of using a spoon. It’s part of the fun, and that way you can tell if you’ve used enough water. If it still feels powdery and chunky, add a little more water. When it pours veeerrrrry slowly, it’s just about right.
My busy little toddler (22 months) was a little tentative. He never fully mixed his oobleck but had fun feeling the mixture. “Yuck!” came out of his mouth more than a few times.
Oobleck has such an odd texture. Even though you can scrape it, you can also pour it. It has features of both a solid and a liquid. The kids thought it was funny that they could smack it as hard as they could, but it wouldn’t splash.
If you have the right consistency (often achieved by playing with it for a while), you can even roll it into a ball — but it will slide through your fingers the moment you’re done.
The kids loved it when I brought out some plastic toys. It was great that we had just read the book, because they loved reenacting scenes from the story. Here my Five was saying, “Mom, pretend you’re the bear. You’re the king, okay?” Then I had to add the dialogue. “Oh no! It’s in my nose! It’s in my face! I’m sorry I said I didn’t like the weather! I’m SORRY!”
My Five, who loves to study things to learn how they work, asked, “How come when I hold my fingers together it still oozes out?”
My younger two were done after about half an hour. The older two were busier for longer. I finally had to end the fun for my Five when it was time to make supper. Clean-up really wasn’t too bad. Just be sure to scrape the oobleck into the garbage can rather than rinse it all down your garbage disposal. Just in case.
Looking for more fun ways to play with yucky oobleck? Check out these posts!
For a great goop-making tutorial, visit Nurture Store.
There’s Just One Mommy taught her children the science behind oobleck.
Don’t you love this incredible picture of dancing oobleck?! See how they did it at Housing a Forest.
Blog Me Mom experimented to make color changing oobleck!
You can even make rainbow oobleck! Check it out at Blog Me Mom.
You can even mix oobleck with colored ice. See how they did it at Creative Playhouse.
Want a slightly different texture? Check out Blog Me Mom’s sudsy goop.
And you don’t want to miss Fun at Home with Kids’ edible glowing oobleck!
Want more ideas for sensory play? Follow me on Pinterest!