Science in the kitchen: Oobleck

Read a Dr. Seuss book about oobleck and then head to the kitchen or outside for some science fun.

Cooking with your kids can be fun!
Cooking with your kids can be fun!

Get kids involved in the kitchen. Include them in kitchen related activities. Add more fun by including a bit of science with kitchen related items. Michigan State University Extension recommends that you help your child feel comfortable in the kitchen. Having fun with kitchen related supplies may help to peak an interest and put your child at ease in the kitchen.

A bit of snuggle time and a good book usually help to put a person, young or old at ease. A fun read, that can be followed up by a kitchen science activity, is Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss. You can purchase a copy or find it on YouTube. The book is a good starting point to begin your science adventure in the kitchen. Read about King Derwin who requests that his royal magicians create something new to fall from the sky. A storm of sticky green globs called “oobleck” soon causes a mess. With the assistance of the page boy, Bartholomew, the king (and the child you’re reading to) learn that the simplest words can sometimes solve the biggest problems.

After discussing how taking responsibility for messes that can happen, in and out of the kitchen, it’s time to have some fun. A fun and easy activity involves science and simple kitchen ingredients. Science Bob’s recipe for Oobleck uses cornstarch and water. Visit the link for more information about the science of oobleck.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Bowl or container of choice to hold the mix

Add water slowly. Mix as you go. If the mixture seems too dry, add more water. If it won't hold its shape when picked up, add more cornstarch. You should be able to pick it up with your hand as a solid, but it should immediately start melting back into a liquid as you open your hand. Allow oobleck to dry and it will turn back to corn starch, but don’t use it – toss it in the garbage or use it to make oobleck again.

Keep your child’s interest in books and the kitchen peaked by having fun. Enjoy a story with a lesson and playing with your oobleck, which can be fun for all ages.

For more reading and active fun read Physical activity and book fun: Bubbles.

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