Super Sensory Exploration with Oobleck and Water Beads

27 August


Oobleck. It is simple to make, but it provides tons of squishy, messy, sensory fun. Which makes it a sensory favorite with my kids.

Another favorite here are water beads. Nice and smooth, they feel great on your hands (and feet according to my youngest).

So what happens when you combine the two?

Some super fun sensory exploration that's what you get. Plus you can pair it with a super fun book, Zoey and Sassafras: the Pod and the Bog! (I was provided with a copy of the book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.)



Supplies Needed for an Oobleck and Water Bead Sensory Bin

Cornstarch
Water
Food Colors (optional)
Colored Water Beads (or these is you want it to be taste safe)

Since this sensory bin is inspired by Zoey and Sassafras: The Pod in the Bog, you might want to grab a copy of it too!




Assembling a Pod and the Bog Sensory Bin

In the book Zoey has a magical pod that she has to get to sprout. We have experimented with the needs of sprouting seeds, so this time we put together a fun, fantastical bog with lots of colorful pods!



Before you can assemble your sensory bin, you need to soak your water beads.

Now you can start by mixing up your "bog" (oobleck). No real measurements needed, simply add water to cornstarch until you reach the right consistency.

The consistency you need for oobleck to work properly is one where you can lift the oobleck but once the pressure is removed it flows out of your hand.

We used food coloring mixed with our cornstarch to give ours neon hues.


Next throw in your "pods" (water beads). Now you are ready to let your little explorers loose with their bog.


What Makes Oobleck Irresistable


As soon as I gave the okay the kids were instantly in the bog. 

Of course with so many little hands, the pretty colors didn't last long. The fun lasted though. 



You see, oobleck acts a bit like quicksand because it is a non-newtonian liquid. So when you apply pressure to it, it becomes like a solid, but once the pressure is released it will flow again.

This is because the cornstarch is not dissolved in the water but suspended in it. When pressure is applied the cornstarch particles squeeze together. When it is released they begin to spread apart causing it to flow again.



My kids could not get enough of scrapping the seemingly solid oobleck from the container only to have it run out of their hands!

And having the water beads added some extra sensory fun.

If you want to add more science to it, you could mix up your oobleck first and throw in dry water beads to see if the "bog" can make them grow.

Either way your kids (and maybe even you) will definitely enjoy this oobleck and water bead sensory bin as well as the Zoey and Sassafras books!

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