Monday, November 2, 2015

Teaching This Kid: Oobleck

Chicken Little, Chicken Little, the sky is falling! Oups wrong book stuff is really falling from the sky thanks to Dr. Seuss.
I have been doing some digging online for fun activities that go with books and came across a science project that looked like fun. The book that goes with the oobleck project is a little nugget of lesser known Dr. Seuss, Bartholomew and The oobleck. Well at least I had never heard of it. This book ended up being such a great learning experience for Quinn, it offers not only a great story to teach the importance of apology, but we got to make cool goop to learn about the difference between solids and liquids.
After we read the story and discussed the social thems of cause and effect, and the power of apology it was time to make a real oobleck. An oobleck is super simple to make having only 3 ingredients; corn starch, water, and food coloring. I didn't even measure any thing out just dumped a bit of corn starch in a big bowl added a few drops of green food coloring then slowly added water till we had the consistency of Elmers Glue. I will note that I let Quinn start stirring but ended up taking over since it's pretty stiff. The other thing I insisted on just because I'm kind of goofy and love to see the "magic" on his face we had to read the page with the magicians spell while we mixed it together. The oobleck may not have fallen from the sky but was certainly a bit magical to create a strange goop for a 4 year old.

I found it helpful to have some physical examples of solid and liquid that I used as a teaching tool before we mixed everything together. Quinn is a very  hands on learner so I used a wood block and a bowl of water for us to play with while we talked about all the ways they were different. The oobleck is actually a non-Newtonian fluid and has the properties of both a solid and liquid. We were able to press on it while in the bowl and it felt solid, but when picked up it flowed through his fingers as a liquid.

After he played with the oobleck for quite some time it was time to clean up, you can keep it in a ziplock or throw it out. However, I wouldn't put it down the sink unless you want to call a plumber. One other little side note this will turn your hands a bit green for a few hours so if your concerned you can just leave the food coloring out and have white oobleck. 

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