March is national reading month. Read Bartholomew and the Oobleck or watch the read aloud on YouTube if your library isn’t open currently. Have you ever made oobleck? It’s similar to gak, but in a more liquid state. Oobleck acts as a solid when you squeeze it, but then it drips like a liquid when you release the pressure you put on it. After reading the book try making your own for a fun sensory experience and explore descriptive words.

Materials Needed to Make Oobleck: 

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of cornstarch
  • 3 drops of food coloring
  • A bowl for mixing

Make oobleck outside on the grass or on a large tarp in your kitchen. Sensory activities are better when you don’t have to worry about getting yourself or furniture dirty. Children can then play and explore freely without us adults stressing out about the clean up.

Mix the water and food coloring together first, then add the cornstarch. Have the children help you measure and dump the ingredients into the bowl. When choosing a color ask the children how to make it, “What two colors do we need to make orange?” If you have two buckets let them try out mixing multiple colors.

Encourage the children to dig their hands right in and mix the ingredients together. Ask the children, “What does the oobleck feel like?” Join in the play and show that when you squeeze it, the oobleck becomes hard. For young, nonverbal children, answer the questions yourself as you manipulate the oobleck with them. You could say, for example, “This feels slimy and smooth.” Be creative; offer a spoon to mix up some pretend oobleck cookie dough. How else can the children manipulate the oobleck? Provide a strainer for it to drip through or a plastic water bottle cut in half to use as a ramp. For an added experiment freeze it in a snowflake ice cube tray at the end of your play to try a new sensory material tomorrow!

**Note: When you throw the oobleck away, only put it in the trash, not down your drain to avoid clogging in your pipes.**

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