EASY OOBLECK SENSORY BIN
Having materials to throw together simple sensory bins at the last minute is one of the greatest parenting and teacher hacks I have. Which is why I love this easy oobleck sensory bin! Oobleck is fast, cheap and easy to make. It’s also taste safe and works for a large variety of ages. While it may be messy to play with it’s still a quick clean up.
SO WHAT IS OOBLECK?
Oobleck is a non-newtonian fluid. This means it acts as both a liquid and a solid. My usual way to show this to kids is that you can roll in into a ball and keep rolling it but once you stop it’ll “melt” through your fingers!
Basic Oobleck is made with two simple ingredients: water and cornstarch. That’s it! To make it, use a 2:1 ratio of cornstarch to water.
I want to say I used a 1/2 cup of cornstarch for the smaller bins Flisat table bins and would have done 1 cup for the large bin if I hadn’t ran out of cornstarch -oops!
Since it’s made with all ingestible ingredients oobleck is a taste-safe activity. This means you can safely play it with babies or toddlers who are prone to putting their hands in their mouth without worry!
Oobleck is a very forgiving substance and an easy fix if you mix the wrong ratio. If you find it’s too solid, add a little more water. Too watery, add a little more cornstarch. If you’re adding a liquid additive, you’ll probably need to add a tad more cornstarch!
If you want to spice up your oobleck, you could:
- Add a few drops of food colouring
- Add some glitter (but for environmental reasons, I’d avoid a non-biodegradable glitter!)
- A little peppermint extract for a Christmasy oobleck
- A little pumpkin spice (or just cinnamon) for a fun fall oobleck
- Lemon extract for a lemonade oobleck
- Lavender for a calming oobleck
I made the bin in the photos for a last minute activity on a day where the weather was too poor to take the kids out. So, it didn’t really have a theme other than ‘keep five young kids occupied’…
I ended up raiding our recycled materials bins with a few of our sensory kitchen utensils and they were all perfect. We had
- Cookie cutters
- Empty (well washed out) medicine bottles and syringes
- Foam letters
- Big bottle caps
- A small strainer
Items like strainers, funnels and potato mashers are super fun for oobleck. Some of the wooden toy sets like the Melissa and Doug Mixer or the Hape Waffle Maker could be fun too! But realistically, you could use almost anything in the bins because it’s such a versatile material!
If you wanted to make oobleck into a further teaching experience and not just a sensory bin, have the kids make the oobleck with you. Have the cornstarch in a bin and have a bowl of water and allow them to mix the ingredients together until it’s just right. I’ve seen the option of having the kids mix it together with their feet instead of hands, too.
As I said earlier oobleck can get pretty messy (our table was definitely covered in it) but it’s still an easy cleanup. If you’re playing outside, a quick wash down with a hose will remove it all. If you’re like me and playing this mid-winter, I just wiped everything down with a wet cloth and then gave the utensils a hot soapy wash later in the day. Pro tip: if you can fit it, wash everything down in the shower.
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