How to: Ooblek Play
Last week I shared my favourite sensory base, ooblek. It’s taste-safe, messy but easy to clean up and absolutely fascinating! Plus, it’s the play that thrives if you neglect it- let me tell you more!
To make ooblek you need 2 cups of cornflour (cornstarch) and one cup of water - if you want to add colour to your base add some drops of food colouring to the water here. Mix together- it’ll become really stiff and difficult, but keep going (getting the kids involved in the mixing would be a great work out for their arms!). Once completely combined you have ooblek, it’ll run through your fingers like a liquid but resist hard like a solid when you poke it or try to drag your finger across it.
Ways to play
Add some play parts that are ok to get wet or dirty- such as buttons, sequins, plastic cars or resin figures
Use the tray to make marks and strengthen little finger and hand muscles
Just play with it- add spoons and funnels, explore the incredible texture and behaviour of ooblek.
How to Extend Ooblek Play
At this point you can simply wash the ooblek down the sink with lots of water. But really the fun starts now!
Leave the tray out overnight, or in the sun to bake dry- even better if you can leave some figures in the tray too to create really cool fossil-like shapes and patterns.
Once dry you can put those hand muscles to good use again and get your child to crumble up the mixture to make something like sand. Now you can use this base in some small world play.
Add ice to the dry mixture- this brings an additional sensory element to the tray, it’s fun AND the water from the melting ice will rehydrate the ooblek turning it back into its original state!
Finally, add the liquid ooblek into an ice cube tray and freeze. It’s even more cool (pun intended) to play with when frozen!
I am a firm believer in getting the most out of your play- not only for fun but also in terms of reducing waste, so please, don’t tidy up immediately. Developmentally it’s fantastic for kids to be able to return to play too, they practised what they had learned last time and then try to push their boundaries and find out new ways to play. I really hope that enjoy ooblek as much as we do!