Oobleck Recipe: Liquid or Solid?

What is Oobleck?

If you’ve never had any experience with Cornstarch Slime or Goop (or what I call Oobleck from Dr. Seuss’ book Bartholomew and the Oobleck), it is really strange. If you move slowly or hold it still, it behaves like a liquid. But if you quickly agitate it or attempt to roll it up, it behaves like a solid!

oobleck recipe


This science experiment certainly isn’t a new one…

In fact, you might have already done this science activity with your kids! It is a great sensory experience for little kids and a way to talk about matter (liquids, solids, and gases) with older kids!

The science info (at the bottom of the post) comes from Kitchen Pantry Scientist and Steve Spangler Science!

Oobleck Recipe


Here’s what you’ll need:  cornstarch, water, and a large bowl.

Optional:  food coloring.

How To Make Oobleck



 1. Mix 1 cup of cornstarch and 1/2 cup of water. It should be the consistency of syrup. Add food coloring if you choose. I opted to leave this out to make the clean-up a little easier (and preserve the boys’ clothing).


oobleck recipe

 2. Encourage your child to put his/her hands in the bowl and begin playing. Big Brother was excited, at first…


oobleck experiment

 …the texture took some getting used to. After a few minutes, he really enjoyed it.


homemade goop


Is Oobleck a solid or a liquid?

Cornstarch, the main ingredient of Goop or Oobleck is made up of long chains of atoms.  When you move them slowly past one another, they flow like a liquid because they can slide easily past each other.  When you squeeze, roll, or agitate them, the “atom chains” will get entangled and form a solid! 

Substances like Oobleck are referred to as “non-Newtonian fluids” because they do not have the normal properties of either solids or liquids.

This post was first published May 2012. Updated 2018.

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  1. I love this experiment, and it’s fun to read Dr. Seuss’ book along with it :) We did this same thing with our homeschooling group this year!

  2. Did this with food coloring and a combination of baking soda and corn starch and playing with it in the drive way and made a big fun mess and then when it dried we sprayed it with vinegar and watched it fizz

  3. what timing. We just read Bartholomew and the Ooblek last night. Now we can have fun making ooblek today. Can’t wait to try this.

  4. I just tried this today. My almost 2 year old LOVED it. She played with it for over 45 minutes! I had fun with it too. And clean-up was pretty easy too.

  5. Thanks for this idea. I just requested the book through the library. I can’t wait to read it and then try this experiment.

  6. My daughter LOVES science and she is only in kindergarten – I can’t wait to do some fun experiments with her over the March Break!! :) Thank yo so much!

  7. Thank you so much for this!!! I teach kindergarten, and every other week we combine with First grade to do a science experiment! The kids LOVED this and were able to record lots of different observations in their science journals!! (Such easy prep too!!!)

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