Halloween Oobleck is one of my Top 10 "Must do" October activities each year. It's a solid... and it's a liquid... and it's pretty amazing.
Oobleck (aka goop), has been a Toddler Approved favorite for years. It all started one boring weekend back in 2014 when we were stuck indoors feeling stir crazy. I had three kids at the time (ages 6,3,1) and we just needed something to help us get through the day.
We decided to make this classic favorite oobleck recipe,with a Halloween twist and a little bit of orange food coloring. The rest is history. It's now on our list every year and I wouldn't have it any other way.
How do you make oobleck?
Oobleck is so simple to make. You only really need three things to make it.
- some sort of container to put it in
You can also use a wooden spoon to mix it, but it really mixes the best if you just roll up your sleeves and mix it up with your bare hands.
To make this amount of oobleck, just mix 2 cups of cornstarch with 1 cup of water and add in some food coloring. I like to mix it up with my hands since that gets it mixed the best. If you want a bigger batch, just increase your amounts by a 2:1 ratio.
To jazz up your oobleck for Halloween, I like to add in skeletons, ice, pumpkins, plastic Halloween buttons, spiders, eyeballs, etc. Whatever we have on hand or whatever I can find in my Halloween bins.
RELATED: One time I even used a mold to make pumpkin shaped ice to put INSIDE the oobleck. It was epic. Check out the Halloween goop with ice here.
How do you know when Oobleck is ready to use?
You can tell oobleck is ready when you can make a ball with it and put pressure on it with your hands and then when you let go and no longer put pressure on it, it just falls apart and turns into goo in your hands.
One way we test out oobleck with pumpkins is by making a big ball and then putting it on top of the pumpkin stem.
If it's ready to use, it will slowly fall down over the stem and cover the whole top of the pumpkin. It makes it almost look like you dripped a lot of frosting on top of the pumpkin!
Not only is Halloween oobleck fun to play with, it is an amazing activity for building fine motor skills.
As kids squish the cornstarch and water together and pick up the spiders and roll the oobleck into balls, they are building strong finger muscles that are so important for tasks like writing, drawing, buttoning coats, and zippering pants!
How do you explain oobleck to kids?Is oobleck a liquid or a solid?
Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid and it has properties of both liquids and solids. This makes it extra cool. Oobleck changes how easily it flows (called viscosity) under stress. Stress can be caused by pushing on it, rolling it into balls, etc.
Even the adults at your house will love oobleck.
What if my child doesn't want to play with oobleck?
Like anything new, some kids take a little bit to warm up to them. I like to think of sensory play in the same way I think of introducing new foods to kids.
Start with something familiar and build on that.
For example, when I'm introducing oobleck, I don't just tell my kids to start playing with the cornstarch and water with just their hands. I'll give them familiar tools that they already like playing with to help them feel a little bit more comfortable.
If they don't want to touch the oobleck with their hands, I'll just encourage them to poke it with a tool or just observe at first.
Some kids prefer to just observe when trying a new activity. Once they feel comfortable, they'll join in.
Some kids will always feel uncomfortable with touching certain textures. If you want them to still be able to experience oobleck in a small way, just put some into a ziploc bag and seal it shut to make it a mess free sensory play experience that might be less stressful to them.
Need more oobleck ideas? Little Bins for Little Hands has an awesome spider oobleck to help kids build fine motor skills.
If Halloween Oobleck isn't already on your October Bucket List, add it! Your kids will love it!
Do you have any other favorite Halloween sensory play ideas? Tell us in the comments!