Colourful Scented Oobleck

Colourful Scented Oobleck | Mama Papa Bubba

Oobleck, goop, goo, cornstarch paste… Whatever you call it, we’re huge fans!  The cornstarch and water mixture has been a staple in our play repertoire for a long time now and it never fails to captivate those who dare to dig their hands in.  With Halloween having just come and gone, we’ve played with it a ton lately.  Sometimes paired with creepy crawlies, sometimes with giant googly eyes, and other times all on its own.  It’s been loads of fun for Miss G and her little friends in the courtyard, so today we decided to try something different…  Colourful SCENTED oobleck!

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Our secret ingredient?  Kool-Aid {the kind you add sugar to}!  Mmmmm…  Strawberry Kiwi.

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We simply stuck to our usual recipe, but tripled it and added 2 packs of Kool-Aid powder to the cornstarch before adding our water.

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We mixed it up using our hands (the best part!) and were left with colourful goop that smelled delicious.

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See?  Grae had her whole head in the been sniffing up the strawberry kiwi goodness.

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Now if you’ve never played with oobleck before, you simply must.  It is amazing!! Technically speaking, oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid, which means that the way the substance acts is dependent on pressure.  Tapping quickly on the surface of the oobleck will make it feel hard because the cornstarch particles are being forced together, but dipping your hand in slowly will make the mixture feel more like water because the cornstarch particles have time to move out of the way.

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While you can quickly dig your hand into the mixture and grab a fistful, the moment you open your fingers, it will slide out of your hand with ease.

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So. much. fun.  I can never resist digging in myself.

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Here Grae is tapping the surface of the oobleck with one hand, while sinking the other one in… She’s a multitasker. ☺

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After about 20 or 25 minutes of playing with just the oobleck alone,  I introduced a tray of simple tools for her to continue exploring with, which she loved (I find that the key to keeping kids engaged in sensory play, especially at the beginning, is to introduce new elements slowly).  Afterwards, we brought the whole bin downstairs to share with friends, where it was played with for another hour or so.  The first thing the munchkins asked?  ‘Is this STRAWBERRY oobleck??’  I’d say it was a hit.

While every recipe I’ve come across uses a 1:2 ratio of water to cornstarch, we like ours a little bit thicker and this recipe has never failed us:


{Big Batch of} Colourful Scented Oobleck

  • 3 cups of water
  • 9 cups of cornstarch (also known as corn flour)
  • 2 packages of Kool-Aid (or Duncan Hines’ Frosting Creations)
  • food colouring (if a more vibrant colour is desired)


Mix and play!



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5 thoughts on “Colourful Scented Oobleck

  1. We tried this today and maybe we put too much food coloring? We used red but only put enough in to make it a dark pink color, but both our hands are stained red….any suggestions? BTW- I must add my 3 year old LOVED it, played for hours in it- which I’m sure you can imagine was quite the mess to clean up …. but well worth it :)

    1. Hmmm… I’ve never had that happen! That being said, I do find that red food colouring is the worst for staining, and in order to make even a dark pink colour, you need quite a lot. I’d try a different colour next time and see how it goes. :) And as for the mess – I know exactly what you mean. A happy, engaged munchkin makes it all worth it, doesn’t it?

  2. I am going to try this today! I was wondering if there is a shelf life to the mixture? Can it be stored and used again or is this a one-time activity? Thanks for your input and great blog.

    1. Yay, Patty! I’m so glad you are! Yes, there is definitely a shelf life to anything cornstarch and water based, as after a little while it starts to smell badly. Depending on your climate, I’d say you’d get at least 2 or 3 days of play out of a batch of oobleck. Just keep it covered in a cool place, and expect it to settle a little bit over night. To “bring it back to life”, get in there with your hands and mix it up, adding a little bit of extra water if needed. ENJOY!

      1. Thank you for the speedy response! I wanted to add that I didn’t have Kool-Aide on hand but I did have Jell-o which seemed to color the Oobleck nicely but the scent faded pretty quickly (next time I will use more). We also added sprinkles (the tiny round ones) to see what the colors would do. The sprinkles didn’t last long but it was fun to watch.

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