Monday, March 31, 2014

Kids | Exploring with Non-Newtonian Fluid (Oobleck)

Kyle is the cool kid at our house. He has one of those brains that is constantly dreaming up something new and fun. He loves to see how things work and experiment. Of course, he loves to share all of this with our girls. After dinner one evening, Kyle led us all in some fun with science. 

Kyle and I have seen videos of people walking on what looks like liquid. Walking (running really) straight across it. What these people have done is made a large quantity of what is called a non-Newtonian fluid (also known as Oobleck). It is a fluid that when at rest acts as a liquid, but when force is placed upon it, it acts like a solid. It is crazy cool stuff. It's a mixture of water and cornstarch. That's it! 

We played with this stuff for an hour, and only quit because it was bedtime. Hailey would have kept going and going and going... Seriously, if you need to occupy your children for an hour, make them some Oobleck. Or if you would like something fun to do with your children, make some Oobleck. :)

You need:
1 1/2 cups water
16 oz. cornstarch

To make it, grab a large bowl or tub. Pour in the water.  

Add the cornstarch. Start with a little, mix. Add some more, mix. We didn't follow any recipe, we just experimented until it turned out. We used almost the entire 16 oz. of cornstarch.

When the mixture is the right consistency it will pull away from the edges of the bowl.

Now roll up your sleeves, dig your hands in and play!

Try pushing down with your fingers and see how the fluid resists them.

Now relax and watch your finger sink into the goo.

Roll the goo into a ball and watch it ooze out of your hand when you stop rolling. (Sorry the video is choppy, I made it from still images I had taken.)

This stuff is serious fun. I even got into it and had a blast with it. Yes, it's messy, but it cleans right up with water, no scrubbing. Just wet a towel and wipe it away. Now, that's my kind of mess.

If you do just one messy activity with your kids, make it this one! They will love it. You will earn major cool parent points for it. I'm thinking we need to have some friends over and do it again. Anyone want to come play with us!?

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