Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Corn Starch and Water--fun for all ages!

Corn starch and water is a favorite activity of mine my girls.  It's one of those super easy, quick, get the kids out of your hair things to do.  It can also be educational if you're into that kind of stuff.
cornstarch and water 1
Why is it so fun you ask?  It's a Non-Newtonian fluid!  Ok, ok, it's both a liquid and a solid!  Try to put your finger in it super fast or pick it up, and it acts like a solid; put your finger in it slow or actually pick it up, and it acts like a liquid.  Super fun!  If you want to get all educational with it, check out this website.  It's got a really good explanation of why it acts the way it does.
cornstarch and water 2
You'll need cornstarch and water (obviously) along with a container and some food coloring (optional).  Something like newspaper to cover the table and the floor might be nice too if you don't want to clean up a huge mess.
cornstarch and water 3
 I never really measure out the cornstarch and water amounts.  I simply put some cornstarch in a shallow container and add water until I get the right consistency.  If you are one of those people who like exact measurements, start with 1/2 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup water.  It will be difficult to stir at first.  Slowly add more water until the mixture is about honey consistency or until you can both hit it hard and gently put your finger through it.  If it's too loose, add more cornstarch.  Finally add food color to preference and have fun!
cornstarch and water 4

IMPORTANT things to note:
*Be careful when you dispose of this mixture.  It can plug the drain.  Make sure to dilute it down quite a bit before putting it down the drain.  Better yet, let the cornstarch settle to the bottom of the container, pour the top liquid down the drain and dispose of the cornstarch in the trash.
*Food coloring can stain hands and clothes.  Be careful if you add food coloring.
*Clean up is super simple if it gets all over the table, floor, or your clothes.  Simply rinse with water!

Do you have a favorite food science activity?  Share it below or continue a discussion in our Toys In The Dryer Community!


  1. I have a friend who does that (that being get the kids out of your hair quick) with soap bubbles in the sink and play dishes. Just a little water, a lot of dish soap and a step stool. The kiddies are blissed out and mom gets the living room vacuumed. LOL

  2. First off, love the new site!
    This is such a fun idea - my kids brought some of this home once and it was way cool to play with.

  3. I love this stuff, we used it in a day care once and the kiddos went wild over it, esp the boys. I think I might have to try this OUTSIDE with little man or he will end up with it all over my new couch AGH!


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