How to Make Oobleck

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Anyone who's read Dr. Suess' book "Bartholomew and the Oobleck" knows that Oobleck is a green, goopy solution that's not quite liquid and not quite putty. Technically, the stuff is known as a diltatant--a non-Newtonian substance that thickens with the increase of pressure--but fans of Bartholomew and his Oobleck know what really matters is that it's just plain old fun! There are a couple of easy ways to make your own Oobleck.

Things You'll Need

  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Disposable plastic containers
  • Wooden spoon
  • White (school) glue
  • Borax
  • Green food coloring

Step 1

Measure 1/2 cup of water into a disposable plastic container. Add a few drops of green food coloring to create Oobleck that is the same color as Bartholomew's goop.

Step 2

Add 1/2 cup of white school glue into the water. Stir until the two are completely combined.

Step 3

Mix 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of liquid Borax in a different container. Borax is used for laundry and can be found with laundry detergent at your local grocery store or mass marketing chain. It comes in liquid and powder forms. If you can't locate liquid Borax, you can create it by dissolving 1 tbsp. of Borax powder into 1 cup of water.

Step 4

Continue stirring the Borax-water mixture and pour in the glue-water mixture. The two should combine to create a slippery, blubbery goop. You'll know it's ready when there's a ball of the goop separated from the mixture and sits in the middle of the container. If you're having difficulty combining them, try adding a little more Borax.

Make Oobleck Using Cornstarch

Step 1

Pour 1 1/2 cups of cornstarch in a disposable plastic container. When the Oobleck is finished it will be a strange mixture of liquid and solid, but it will definitely be sticky and messy. You'll need to mix and keep it in a container that doesn't need to be washed and re-used.

Step 2

Add 1 cup of water to the cornstarch and mix it thoroughly.

Step 3

Check to see whether when you pull apart your Oobleck mixture it oozes back together with ease. The substance should be able to be separated but also able to "heal" itself easily.

Step 4

Add more cornstarch to create thicker Oobleck or more water to create a thinner diltatant.

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Tips & Warnings

  • Creating Oobleck is messy business. Make sure to cover your workspace with an old tablecloth or newspapers and wear old clothing.
  • Do not dispose of Oobleck in the sink, as it will clog the drain. When cleaning your mixing spoon, be sure to soak it in soapy water to break up the leftover Oobleck.
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