Ooooooowhat? Oobleck! YES....Oobleck. The ever awesome Carolyn reminded me the other day of this super fun substance. Thanks girl! I had not only been searching for the perfect post for the Letter O (yes, I am horribly behind in my ALPHABET SERIES), but I had also been in serious need of a fresh idea for Sugar Bear. You see.....last week was Spring Break for us. I was off work.....Sugar Bear wasn't attending Day Care or preschool.....and we got a bit stir crazy. I am used to adult interaction, and she is TOTALLY used to playing with her friends four days a week. The fact that we were home sick for the two weeks prior to Spring Break only added to the feeling of complete and total cabin fever.
Anyhow, I had become familiar with this fabulous substance back in my college days while doing my practicum for my Early Childhood Education major. Somehow, over the years(oh my has it really been 12 years?) I had forgotten. Like I have said before....I have forgotten way more than I'll ever remember. tee hee
The other day, Sugar Bear and I set out to making some Oobleck. All we needed was 2 parts corn starch, and one part water. We added a few drops of food coloring for interest. Sugar Bear chose blue.....one of her favorite colors.
Surprisingly, Sugar Bear showed some reluctance to get her hands into the gooey mess. As you may know, I have worked hard to encourage Sugar's appreciation of all things. I am constantly giving her opportunities to try new things, and build her confidence. She rarely shys away from anything. I was really caught off guard by her recent dislike of getting things on her hands.
After stirring in the blue dye, she wanted to be done. She hadn't even experienced the MAGIC of Oobleck yet, so I put the camera down for awhile, and jumped in. I played and played while she observed. I worked hard to describe my play, and pique her interest. Within 5 minutes she was hooked, and couldn't resist getting in on the game.
After a quick rinse of my hands, I was able to photograph her process of discovery. The great thing about Oobleck is the fact that when you push hard and quickly on the surface of it, it will be a firm substance, but as soon as your hand stops moving it quickly turns to a liquid. It is really, really fascinating. It is emparative to not that Oobleck must be kept in a container while playing with it. It is not in anyway like play doh.
In the end, Sugar's favorite activity was grabbing a bunch of it, then letting it ooze all over her other hand.....or better yet....my hand. It has a cool temperature and feels funny on the back of your hand.
Her only complaint was the smell. I am not sure if my corn starch happened to be stale, or if large quantities just has a strong odor, but it smelled awful. I kept wondering if the consistency would be altered if I added some peppermint extract. I may have to try it next time.
All in all, it was a great little project. I have kept it in a Tupperware bowl, and we have just added a bit of water a few times to re-play with it again. I have a hard time wasting so much cornstarch on a one time activity. Yes....I am cheap like that.