VALENTINE’S OOBLECK

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner it was the perfect opportunity to do this valentine’s oobleck activity!

I’ll be honest: I have a love/hate relationship with oobleck. It’s a quick, easy sensory activity that the kids love and the kids loving it is the main reason I set up our valentine’s oobleck. However obleck is also always a huge mess to clean up in this house! So I keep it as an occasional activity for us. 

We use our Ikea Flisat table for almost all of our sensory play so that’s what you’ll see in photos. If messes are a source of anxiety for you, or you aren’t in the mood for cleaning, you could easily do this valentine’s oobleck in the bathtub and then end it with a shower. Or outdoors near a hose if you live somewhere warm enough!

MATERIALS USED

  • Corn starch
  • Water
  • Red food colouring
  • Ikea Flisat Table
  • Heart shaped cookie cutters
  • Heart shaped lacing beads
  • Heart shaped gems
  • Various kitchen utensils

Oobleck on its own is cheap, quick and easy: all you need are corn starch and water! The generic recipe is 1 cup of corn starch with 2 cups of water, and you can absolutely double, triple or quadruple that recipe and beyond. For an Ikea Flisat table you’ll need a good couple cups of corn starch for a layer on either side: for this valentine’s oobleck, I used 3 or 4 cups of corn starch total and it gave me a super thin layer on both bins. 

If you want to colour it as I did you’ll want to add the desired amount of food colouring to the water prior to adding corn starch. You could add it after if you forget but you’ll have a much easier time mixing it in if it’s added prior.

While I know some do activities like this valentine’s oobleck as important learning lessons, in this house they’re mainly a way for me to have five minutes without someone climbing on me or asking for a snack. If you did want to be involved with it, some questions to ask to further the sensory learning part of oobleck could be: 

“How does the oobleck feel running through your fingers?”

“What happens when you try to make the valentine’s oobleck into a ball?” 

“Wow, look at how the oobleck runs through this funnel!” 

“Can you think of other items that feel/act the same way as oobleck?” 

If you wanted to focus on the science aspect of the valentine’s oobleck, some points to focus on could be: 

  • Is oobleck a liquid, a solid or it’s own category?
  • How does oobleck react to different stirring and pouring speeds?
  • How do different objects sit on the oobleck? (IE do they sit on top of, or do they sink into?)
  • How does oobleck react to different actions – stirring, hitting, scooping…
  • Does oobleck change or stay the same if we add more water to it?
  • Does oobleck change it’s state into more solid, or more liquid, the longer we play with it?

Focusing on the science of it or not, this valentine’s oobleck is the perfect activity for a quiet morning – I used it as a way to drink a cup of hot coffee for once.

Looking for more easy activities? Check out some of the ones below!

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