If you are the parent of young kids, you have probably heard and / or done fun arts and crafts projects with them, such as playing with silly putty, making slime, or creating oobleck. While the world continues to social distance amid the current coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19), these are safe kid-friendly activities that will surely entertain your young ones for some time.
While it may not be too much fun cleaning up the aftermath of oobleck, it's certainly worth it when you see the look on your kids' faces. If you're a bit confused as to what exactly this substance is, you're not alone! Keep reading to find out what oobleck is, how to make it, and if it's safe to eat.
What exactly is oobleck and is it easy to make?
According to Science Explorers, oobleck can "mimic the qualities of a solid or a liquid," so it is therefore classified as a non-Newtonian fluid. "It can feel like a solid when you hold it in a ball, but it becomes liquidy when you let your hand go loose. It takes the shape of whatever is holding it."
Basically, the oobleck will have the properties of a liquid until there is pressure applied to the substance, such as hitting it or squeezing the concoction. Then, it becomes a solid material.
To make the interesting substance, named after the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck, just combine 1.5 parts cornstarch to one part water. Simply start with a bowl of water and add in the cornstarch a bit at a time, stirring (with your hands if preferred!) until it has a gooey consistency.
If the substance is a little hard, just add a few more droplets of waters. And, to make it more fun for your kids, add food coloring for a cool effect.
Don't worry if your hands are a bit stained from the food coloring; it should come off within a few days. While this experiment is fun to play with, be warned that it is very messy and hard to get out of clothes, rugs, and couches.
So, to avoid a problematic cleanup, it's advised everyone wear clothes they don't mind getting dirty, and put down a towel you don't care about ruining or newspapers in the vicinity of where the oobleck is being made.
So, while it is a fun experiment to do with kids, should parents be worried about their young ones ingesting the substance?
What happens if you eat oobleck?
If you're watching young kids, you always have to be careful that they don't accidentally put something toxic or harmful in their mouths. So, is oobleck one of those inedible items?
Luckily, the gooey substance is not toxic, but it probably won't taste good since it's just cornstarch and water. As one individual pointed out on Yahoo Answers, while eating oobleck may not be poisonous, it could potentially give someone pains in their stomach if large quantities are ingested.