In level 4 lockdown last year we shared a fun recipe for making slime with borax as an idea for keeping the kids entertained. If you don’t have borax at home try making Oobleck instead. This is the version that Lucas made with his friend years ago – the recipe uses cornflour, chia seeds and agar agar (although you can leave that out for a runnier version).
The name Oobleck comes from the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck, in which King Derwin of Didd becomes bored and asks his magicians to make something new and exciting fall from the sky. Bartholomew then has to rescue the Kingdom from the ensuing havoc.
I’m really happy that Lucas’s Oobleck did not fall from the sky nor did it wreak too much havoc in my kitchen, even when Cole arrived and the two of them were doing tricks with it there wasn’t a lot of mess.
On a scientific note, Oobleck is a non-newtonian fluid, that means it acts like a liquid when being poured but when a force is acting upon it, it will be solid. If you make enough you can even walk on it. Take a look at this ‘walk on water’ pool youtube video.
This version is edible, although I wouldn’t eat it on purpose, however, if your children do ingest some they’ll be fine. It’s also very easy to clean up, just roll/pick up the pieces and then wipe the surface with a wet sponge.
If your Oobleck is too soft add a little more water, if it’s too gooey add more cornflour. It will keep if you moisten the top with water and cover. Ours was kept on the bench but to prolong it keep in the fridge and warm up again with your hands and a little warm water until soft again.
Lucas’s Seuss Oobleck
4 drops Hopper Natural Food Colouring in Green
2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 1/4 Cups Warm Water
2 Tsp Agar Agar or 1 tsp gelatine
2 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil
In a small bowl combine chia seeds and 1 cup warm water, stir well and leave for an hour.
Add the food colouring and stir again.
In another bowl mix the Agar Agar with ¼ cup warm water, stir and leave to cool.
Once cool add the cornflour and cut in to combine.
When ready, add the chia seed mixture and stir, this will thicken quite quickly and you’ll need to use your hands.
If it gets too thick add more warm water just one teaspoon at a time. If it gets too sticky add cornflour one teaspoon at a time.
You can decide what density you’d like, or try different versions, it’ll provide hours of entertainment.
Why not explore all kinds of materials and substances; it’s also great fun to get a microscope which will enable your kids to witness the very cells that make up the world around them. This can be extremely fascinating and it’s sure to captivate them for many years to come.
For more info on everything you need to know about child-friendly microscopes go here.