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Embrace your toddler’s love for diggers, dump trucks, and excavators with this oobleck construction site sensory play activity.
Oobleck Construction Site Sensory Play
Oozy Oobleck is a fun and sensory material that toddlers can play with.
Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid is made by mixing cornstarch and water. This substance behaves like both a liquid and a solid, depending on how you handle it.
When under pressure the oobleck is firm however once the pressure is relaxed, it liquifies and flows freely.
Team this amazing substance with your toddler’s favourite construction trucks and you have a fun sensory play activity ready to explore in no time at all. They will love exploring the oobleck with their trucks with busy hands and busy minds.
What you need to make the Oobleck Construction site sensory play activity
- Oobleck mixture (cornstarch and water)
- Large shallow container or sensory table
- Small toy construction vehicles (e.g., plastic trucks, bulldozers)
Corn starch and corn flour are very similar.
They can both be used interchangeably for this recipe.
If you have toddlers with gluten intolerances, make sure to check your corn flour to ensure that it is made from corn. Despite some being labeled as corn flour, they might actually be made from wheat.
How to make oobleck goop
Oobleck is so easy to make. It is really forgiving and a great place to start if you would like to let your toddler follow the recipe.
If the mix is too wet, just sprinkle more flour.
If the mix is too dry, add more water.
There are days when I give my kids an unmeasured tray of flour and some squirty bottles of water and let them find a consistency they enjoy. You can add food colouring or glitter to add a little extra wow to the mix.
Oobleck serves as an excellent standalone sensory play medium, providing loads of fun even when presented in its original form.
To make Oobleck, also known as “gloop,” you’ll need just two simple ingredients: cornstarch and water.
Two parts Corn Flour: 1 part Water
Follow these steps to create your own Oobleck gloop:
- Start by choosing the amount of Oobleck you want to make. You can adjust the quantities of cornstarch and water based on your desired consistency and the amount of Oobleck you need.
- In a bowl or container, measure out approximately two parts of cornstarch. You can use cups or any other measurement unit depending on the quantity you want to make.
- Gradually add one part of water to the cornstarch, stirring as you go. It’s essential to add the water slowly and mix well to ensure the cornstarch is evenly distributed. It will be stiff and awkward to start with but will become easier as it is mixed.
- Continue stirring and mixing until the cornstarch and water are thoroughly combined.
- If the mixture appears too thin or watery, add more cornstarch in small increments and mix until you reach the desired consistency. If it’s too thick, you can add a little water and stir until it becomes more fluid.
- Once you’ve achieved the desired texture, you have your Oobleck gloop ready to play with!
Remember to have fun and explore the fascinating properties of Oobleck, but keep in mind that it can be messy. This is definitely part of the fun!
One of the perks of oobleck play is it does clean up easily. The aftermath often appears to require more effort than it actually does.
It’s a good idea to protect your play area with a waterproof play mat, or plastic tablecloth or conduct the activity outdoors. Another alternative is to set up the activity in your shower recess for easy cleanup.
We love our Rudie Nudie waterproof play mat.
We have had our mat for coming up for three years now. Mr 2 uses it every day. This mat is super thirsty and the waterproof backing helps hold the liquids tight.
I look up as I am typing this article and see it laid across the floor under Mr 2’s flisat table, both covered in black gravel and his digger and dump truck.
When held corner to corner, the mat will hold the gravel until it is gently shaken back into the tray again.
This certainly makes clean-up much easier.
And as always, make sure to supervise young children during playtime and avoid ingesting Oobleck.
Baking the corn flour can reduce the risk of bacteria and make it taste safe.
Learn about how to prepare flour for taste-safe sensory play here.
How to set up Oobleck Construction Site Sensory Play Activity
- Prepare the Oobleck mixture by mixing one part of water with two parts of cornstarch. Start with a small batch and adjust the consistency as needed. You want to achieve a thickness that allows it to hold its shape while remaining fluid when pressure is applied.
- Set up the play area by placing the shallow container or sensory table on a protected surface. Make sure it’s large enough for the toddlers to explore and play comfortably.
- Pour the Oobleck into the container, filling it up to a depth that allows for easy manipulation by your toddler.
- Add toy construction vehicles, such as trucks and bulldozers, into the Oobleck. You can bury them partially or completely, creating a hidden treasure effect.
- Optionally, you can add toy figures or animals to enhance storytelling and role-playing possibilities.
- Encourage the toddlers to explore the Oobleck construction site freely. They can use their hands, and vehicles to interact with the material and create their own imaginative scenarios.
- Supervise the play to ensure the toddlers are engaging safely with the Oobleck. Remind them not to eat the mixture and to wash their hands afterward.
- After the play session, you can allow the oobleck to dry out for play another day for a different sensory play experience.
Remember, sensory play activities like the Oobleck construction site can provide valuable hands-on experiences for toddlers, promoting their fine motor skills, creativity, and cognitive development.
Enjoy the messy, sensory fun with your little ones!
Have loads of fun playing, tipping, spinning, scooping, counting, matching, and more with sensory play and fine motor skills activities!
Activities Included: 110 pages
- Sensory Play Ideas
- Sensory Play Recipes
- ABC and 123 Posters
- Counting to 10 with 10 Frame
- Cutting & Tracing Puzzles
- Cut & Paste Activities
- Moving Parts Activities
- Pre-writing Patterns
- Shadow Matching
- Truck Scenes & CutOuts
How to clean up Oobleck
Cleaning up after oobleck messy play is really easy.
Just add water.
If you can, just hose down the area when the oobleck is still wet.
If the area has dried, a bristled brush can help loosen the oobleck quickly without much effort. I use our dishwashing brush to remove the oobleck from the finer areas on Mr 2’s trucks.
Indoor oobleck can be clean easily with a mop.
Rinse clothes before throwing them in the washing machine.
Construction site for toddlers
Mr 2 loves exploring the Oobleck with his trucks.
The first few moments usually involves a curious finger tip giving the mix a poke here and there before its all hands on deck.
I love sitting on the sideline watching his play unfold.
So many ‘truck’ noises and stories are made.
Sometimes he wants me to join in and other times he just loves knowing I’m there watching, listening and being close by.
He uses his digger and bulldozer to push the Oobleck around the tray or to fill his dump truck.
As he zoomed the truck around across its own tracks, he noticed that the Oobleck became more fluid than that in the middle.
There is so much learning with a simple tray of corn flour and water and a few trucks.
Benefits of Play
Engaging in play with construction trucks and Oobleck can provide unique benefits for children.
Here are some specific benefits of this play combination:
Playing with Oobleck provides tactile sensory experiences as children feel the unique texture and consistency of the substance.
It can be squishy, oozy, and offer a different sensory input compared to regular play materials.
This tactile stimulation enhances sensory integration skills and supports sensory processing development.
Fine Motor Skills
Manipulating and playing with construction trucks in the Oobleck requires the use of fine motor skills. Children can practice
- controlling the movement of the trucks through the Oobleck
These activities promote hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, and strength in small hand muscles.
Creativity and Imagination
Combining construction trucks with Oobleck encourages imaginative play scenarios.
- create pretend construction sites
- dig trenches
- build roads
- transport materials using their trucks
This imaginative play fosters creativity, problem-solving, and storytelling skills.
Play with construction trucks and Oobleck engages cognitive processes such as planning, sequencing, and spatial awareness.
Children can experiment with cause-and-effect relationships, observing how the Oobleck reacts to the movement and weight of the trucks.
This play combination stimulates cognitive development and critical thinking.
Language and Communication Skills
Play scenarios involving construction trucks and Oobleck provide opportunities for language development.
Children can engage in conversations, describe their actions, and use vocabulary related to construction, vehicles, and sensory experiences.
This enhances language skills and expands vocabulary.
Social Interaction and Cooperation
Play with construction trucks and Oobleck can be a collaborative and social experience.
Children can work together, sharing trucks, taking turns, and collaborating on building and construction projects.
This promotes social interaction, cooperation, and communication skills.
Play activities that involve sensory experiences, such as Oobleck, can support emotional regulation.
Manipulating and exploring the Oobleck’s unique properties can be calming and soothing for some children, providing an outlet for stress and anxiety.
Construction truck play combined with Oobleck introduces early concepts of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Children can explore concepts such as volume, weight, motion, and properties of materials, fostering an early interest in these subjects.
By combining construction trucks and Oobleck in play, children can enjoy a multisensory and engaging experience that promotes various aspects of their development, including sensory integration, fine motor skills, creativity, cognitive abilities, social skills, and emotional well-being.
What is Oobleck – the Science
Oobleck is a fascinating substance that exhibits non-Newtonian fluid properties. It received its name from a sticky substance mentioned in the Dr. Seuss book “Bartholomew and the Oobleck.”
Oobleck is made from a simple mixture of cornstarch and water.
When you mix cornstarch and water together, the mixture creates a suspension in which the cornstarch particles disperse in the water.
The unique characteristic of Oobleck is that it can behave like both a liquid and a solid, depending on the force applied to it.
When you gently touch or pour Oobleck, it flows and behaves like a liquid, allowing your hand or other objects to sink into it.
However, if you squeeze or hit it forcefully, it becomes firm and behaves like a solid, resisting the applied force.
This behavior is due to a phenomenon called shear thickening. Shear thickening is where the cornstarch particles temporarily lock together under pressure, creating a more solid-like consistency.
The name “non-Newtonian fluid” refers to fluids that don’t follow Newton’s law of viscosity, which states that a fluid’s viscosity (its resistance to flow) remains constant regardless of the applied force.
Oobleck, on the other hand, changes its viscosity depending on the stress applied to it.
Oobleck is a popular material for sensory play and science experiments, as its unique properties make it fun to explore and manipulate.
Educational settings often utilize it to introduce concepts of states of matter, viscosity, and scientific inquiry.
Combining construction trucks with Oobleck in play provides a rich and multi-dimensional experience that supports children’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development.
It promotes sensory exploration, creativity, problem-solving, language skills, and cooperative play.
So, let the play begin and watch the little ones thrive in this exciting and educational adventure!