Making Frozen Oobleck
I previously posted about making oobleck (also known as goop) back in September. I wanted to continue that post to share our frozen oobleck adventures in case you wanted to take it a step further. This is a great way to cool down on a hot, or even warm, day. I’m not sure if I made it with less water than normal or if it was because I froze the oobleck, but the overall consistency was drier and funner than the previous times.
To make oobleck you only need to have some cornstarch on hand and mix it with water. I used to add in more water than cornstarch but have since made it with equal amounts of water and cornstarch. The best I can recommend is to add less water than you think you’ll need as you can always add more, whereas you may run out of cornstarch. To dye the oobleck I use water-based food dye and either add it to the water first or add to the mixture right before mixing it together. You can always check out my previous post if you want more information.
I then poured my oobleck into ice cube trays and threw it into the freezer to freeze. The next day I popped out the frozen oobleck cubes and put them into a freezer bag before rinsing out the ice cube trays so I could freeze a different color.
If you want to make a smaller batch but still want a variety of colors you could always add the food dye after making the oobleck. Just be aware it’s a bit harder to mix the dye in fully once the oobleck is created so you might end up with a marbling of colors which is pretty great too.
Playing With Oobleck
The kids loved breaking the frozen oobleck cubes up with their fingers. I loved how we had more time to play with each color since they didn’t immediately merge into each other. If you wanted a new color you had to force them together… though if we were more patient over time our containers of colors might have mixed. We had a blast playing with the oobleck cubes multiple times and I really want to remember to pull this out more often when it gets warmer here. We even found you can use them like sidewalk chalk although they weren’t as dark as mainstream sidewalk chalk. Just a warning though as the food dye might stain depending on your ratio of food dye in the oobleck and the surface you’re coloring on.
If you want to play inside it can be as simple as making a small single color of oobleck and keep it inside of a container. You could also go more complicated by adding water-safe toy insects, funnels, colanders, scoops, spoons, etc. If you have leftover oobleck I sometimes throw it in a lidded container so if a kid wants oobleck again you can easily pull it out without making another batch.
Last week I pulled out oobleck and made a batch for either kid in their favorite color. I gave them spoons, funnels, a bowl, a colander, measuring cups, and play kitchen utensils from the Dollar Tree. After a bit I decided to make up some more oobleck so I grabbed the six plastic muffin tins and made them three individual colors each. It changed up the play and, combined with changing out the oobleck for soapy water, I got over an hour of happy playing before we used paper towels to wipe up all the spilled soapy water and oobleck.
When Zoey, and later Ada, were done with oobleck I switched out their containers for soapy water. When Zoey was done I gave her oobleck to Ada and when Ada was done I was able to add enough water to the oobleck to dilute it enough to go down the kitchen drain. They splashed enough with the soapy water that clean up just required cleaning up the spilled water and then giving the table a swipe or two with the dishcloth.
Frozen Leftover Oobleck
Since we were talking about frozen oobleck I couldn’t resist talking about freezing any leftover oobleck. Last summer when we were done playing with the oobleck I had the girls put it into a plastic container that I later put in the freezer. When I was making a new batch of oobleck cubes and had extra I tossed it on top of the mixed frozen oobleck. This frozen brick went through phases of play. At one point the kids wanted it broken up so I tossed it on the ground… luckily it broke so dropping it became the next part of play. Ada loved using her frozen pieces with her toys and had her dinosaurs snack on it.
Cleaning Up Outside
Oobleck is just cornstarch and water so clean up was a breeze. We dumped a large jug of water into the oobleck and the kids had fun playing in the water.
Update: If you want more images I also used dyed frozen oobleck cubes to create a color-mixing sensory bin at Ada’s fourth birthday party.
We love oobleck and I find we go through phases where we play with it a lot and then forget about it for awhile. I can’t wait to see if our oobleck play changes as the kids get older of if it will, primarily, stay the same. I hope this helped you if you’re looking at changing up your oobleck play or if you’re looking for a way to cool down. What is your favorite way to play with oobleck? How do you make it your own? Feel free to share in the comments below, on my Facebook page, or through Instagram. Hope you’re having a great day!