8 must-try sensory oobleck activities for kids
Looking for some fun things to do with oobleck? You’ve come to the right place!
If you’ve tried any oobleck activities with your kids before, you’ll know what an amazing sensory experience it is for both little ones and older children.
However, just whipping up a batch of oobleck and leaving it for kids to explore can get a little boring after a while. If your kids are starting to lose interest or they’re simply desperate for more ways to play with oobleck, read on!
In this blog post, we’ll share eight different activities that will keep your kids entertained for hours. They’re all pretty easy to set up too, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
What is oobleck, and how do you make it?
In case you’re an oobleck newbie, here’s what you’ve been missing out on!
Oobleck is a type of cornstarch slime that is both fun and educational to play with. It can be used for sensory play, learning colors and counting, and even making art projects.
The best part is that it’s really easy to make. Just mix cornstarch and water together in a ratio of about two cups of cornstarch to one cup of water, and you’re good to go!
Not got any cornstarch to hand? Check out these 7 alternative ways to make oobleck at home.
Now on to the fun stuff!
Our favourite cornstarch sensory play ideas
The best way to introduce oobleck to kids for the first time is simply to let them explore it as it is, without any distractions.
Some kids are keener on messy play than others, and some need a little encouragement to get their hands dirty.
That’s why we recommend simply making up a batch of oobleck in a bowl and adding a few drops of food colouring (optional) if your kids aren’t used to playing with oobleck.
It’s such a weird, indescribable substance that it takes some getting used to! Let kids explore how it feels to touch, hold, stir and squeeze the oobleck.
They’ll soon realise that it hardens like a solid when they apply pressure and softens to a runny liquid when they don’t – pretty crazy, right?
Making rainbow oobleck
This is one of our favourite things to do with oobleck, and it’s so easy to set up.
All you need is some food colouring (we recommend using liquid food colouring for this activity) and a bowl or container for the oobleck.
To make the rainbow, simply use this easy rainbow oobleck recipe.
Divide the oobleck into separate containers and add a few drops of each food colouring. Mix well to ensure the colour spreads all the way through each mixture.
If you want to make things even more fun, try adding some glitter too!
Your kids will love watching the colours mix together and creating their own unique rainbow oobleck just like this one from Helen of Keeping The Crazies Busy.
This is a great way to explore colour mixing too. Kids will love predicting which colours will appear when they mix them, and creating new colours too.
Under the sea sensory play with oobleck
This activity is perfect for kids who love all things ocean-related, and it’s a great way to learn about sea creatures too.
To set up, add some blue food colouring and mix. You can use several shades of blue and also leave some of the oobleck white.
This will represent the different depths of the ocean and the foam created by waves on the surface.
You can either use things you have around the house to create sea creatures, or purchase some cheap plastic toys.
Add these to the oobleck and encourage kids to explore and discover what they can find!
This is a great activity for encouraging kids to use their imagination, and they’ll love using their hands to discover animals that live in the ocean.
We love this ocean-themed sensory idea by Palm Tree Parenting.
Valentine’s heart-themed oobleck
This activity is not just for Valentine’s Day – we reckon it would work great at any time of year!
Creating a heart-themed sensory tray for kids is an amazing opportunity to explore the topic of emotions and the people or things they love.
That’s why this activity would work really well for preschoolers, as well as older children who could use this as a way to calm down and regulate their emotions.
We love how Pepper and Peep kept the oobleck white in this activity so the conversation hearts really pop! Of course, you could add shades of red and pink oobleck if you wanted to.
Include tongs, scoops and other tools so kids can practise their fine motor skills too.
We’d also recommend storing these tools in a large container filled with water so that they can easily wash off the oobleck and have fun cleaning the objects you’ve placed in the tray.
Chia oobleck slime
This is a great activity for kids who love slime!
It’s also ideal for little ones who aren’t quite past the mouthing stage, as all the ingredients are taste-safe.
It’s so easy to make, and you only need three ingredients: chia seeds, cornstarch and water.
Simply mix together equal parts cornstarch and water, then add the chia seeds. The chia seeds will act as the ‘slime’ in this activity, and they’ll help to thicken the mixture.
You can add food colouring if you want to, but we think this slime looks pretty cool left natural.
If you want to make things even more fun, try adding some glitter or confetti too!
This is a great way to explore solids and liquids with kids, as they’ll learn about the properties of chia seeds and how they can be used to thicken things.
They’ll also have lots of fun playing with this slimy, gooey substance!
It’s also possible to make chia seed slime without cornstarch. In fact, check out this awesome rainbow chia seed recipe that creates irresistibly gooey slime!
As you can see, Montessori-Minded Mama‘s little one had much fun with their chia oobleck!
This spooky sensory activity is perfect when it’s cold and wet outside.
You’ll need orange and/or black food colouring, as well as pumpkin flavouring (optional).
Mix together equal parts cornstarch and water, then add the food colouring. If you’re using pumpkin flavouring, add a few drops to the mixture to give it a seasonal scent.
Note that the flavouring should be used to add a nice Halloween scent, but it doesn’t mean the mixture should be eaten!
When it’s time to play, simply spoon some oobleck into a bowl and let your little one get creative. You can add plastic spiders, bats or other Halloween-themed objects to really get into the spirit of things!
If you want to make things even more fun, try adding some glow-in-the-dark paint to the mixture!
Check out this awesome Halloween oobleck sensory tray by Mangos and Mayhem!
This is a great activity for hot summer days, or if you want to explore the properties of freezing with kids.
It’s so easy to make, and you only need two ingredients: cornstarch and water.
Mix together equal parts cornstarch and water, then place the mixture in the freezer for an hour or so.
You can also leave the frozen oobleck in the freezer until you’re ready to play with it. If it’s a big hit with your kids, we recommend keeping a stash already frozen at the ready!
When it’s time to play, simply take the oobleck out of the freezer and let your little one explore.
They’ll be amazed at how the oobleck changes when it’s cold, and they’ll have lots of fun playing with this frozen substance!
You can also challenge kids to try to melt the oobleck as fast as they can. They’ll get to learn about what causes temperature changes and which methods work the best for warming up something that is very cold.
Try using a mould like Travelling Teacher 2019 to freeze oobleck into different shapes. We think her oobleck stars look awesome!
Ice cream oobleck
Creating an ice cream making sensory setup is sure to get you in your kids’ good books – especially if it looks as inviting as this one by Play and Learn With Luca.
Make up your oobleck and add food colouring depending on which flavour you want your ‘melted ice cream’ to be. You could even have multiple flavours!
Another nice touch is adding bowls with sprinkles, marshmallows and other ice cream toppings. Bonus points if you include a few bottles of chocolate and strawberry syrup!
The most important additional items your kids will need are ice cream scoops and cones. You can use toy cones or real ones, but bear in mind things could get pretty messy if you use real ones (that’s all part of the fun though, right?).
This is another great activity for exploring colours with kids.
To make marbled oobleck, start by mixing together equal parts cornstarch and water. Once you have your oobleck base, add a few drops of food colouring to create your desired colours.
Don’t add too much food colouring, as it will make the oobleck harder to work with.
Swirl it slowly using a toothpick or the ‘wrong’ end of a paintbrush to create a marbled effect.
You can either mix the colours together or let your little one do it themselves. We think letting them create their own marbled masterpiece is sure to be a hit!
We love how The Nordic Nanny used marbled oobleck to create a stunning night sky scene for her Hanukkah-themed oobleck tray.
Baking soda snow with arctic oobleck
Combing frozen oobleck with baking soda snow is ideal for creating an arctic sensory play activity that will entertain kids for hours.
To make baking soda snow, mix together equal parts baking soda and water. You can play about with the ratio until you’re happy with the consistency.
Simply make up your baking soda snow according to the recipe, then add in some frozen oobleck and let the fun begin!
Your kids will love exploring this arctic sensory play setup, and they’ll be amazed at how the two substances interact with each other – particularly as the frozen oobleck starts to melt.
This irresistible-looking snow oobleck scene by Our Play and Creations has shaving foam as an extra ingredient – because what kid doesn’t love the texture of shaving foam?
We hope you’ve found some fun things to do with oobleck that you haven’t tried before.
You might also want to check out how to make slime with chia seeds and how to make oobleck without cornstarch (7 different ways)
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