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How To Make Oobleck Without Cornstarch

child's hands playing with oobleck made from baby powder.

Don’t have cornstarch in your pantry? Don’t worry, you can still make Oobleck with your children. Learn how to make oobleck without corn starch.

What is Oobleck Slime?

Oobleck refers to a green substance from Dr. Seuss’s book, Bartholomew. Therefore, if you want to add a literary component to this science experiment then you could always read that book first!

And don’t worry this Dr. Seuss is not one that is being questioned for being appropriate for children in this day in age.

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Recommended Supplies

  • 1 cup of Baby Powder or Tapioca Powder
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Optional: Food Coloring
baby powder bottle, measuring cups and bowl on marble countertop.

What type of baby powder do you need?

So I guess you can’t say this is completely free of cornstarch because you need a baby powder that has cornstarch in it. See the end of the post with a few suggestions about two other recipes you could try.

What is so cool about Oobleck?

Oobleck is both a solid and liquid because it is a non-newtonian fluid. You can get kids to observe these characteristics as they are playing. We love learning through play!

Before You Begin

We recommend playing and making Oobleck outside. It makes it so much easier for clean-up if you make this fun activity an outdoor one.

Please also note that this is not an edible recipe. Therefore, make sure you are watching your little ones and encouraging them to keep their hands away from their faces.

How To Make Oobleck Using Baby Powder

Step 1: Add powder to the bowl.

Add 1 cup of baby powder to the bowl.

white baby powder in measuring cup with water in 1/2 cup next to it.

Step 2: Add water.

Carefully pour in a 1/2 cup of water.

child'd hand pouring in 1/2 cup water to baby powder.

Step 3: Carefully mix your oobleck.

hand mixing baby powder and water together to make oobleck.

An adult may need to help to scrape the bottom of the bowl to fully mix the powder and water together.

homemade oobleck without cornstarch on plastic spoon.

Optional Step: Add food coloring.

two hand adding red food coloring to homemade oobleck.

You can always add a different primary color to change your oobleck as you play. We ended up adding yellow food coloring eventually to our red oobleck to get a yellow-orange.

hand playing in orange baby powder oobleck.

Step 4: Have fun exploring.

hand pulling star cooking cutter out of oobleck.

This non-newtonian fluid is super fun to experiment with and play with.

How long does Oobleck last?

We have only been able to use it that day. We have let the water evaporate so that we can reuse the powdered material.

You may be able to use it the next day by sealing it in an air-tight container and adding a little water.

Activities To Do With Homemade Oobleck

  • My daughter loves to add toys to the Oobleck. On this particular day, we a playdough cookie cutter was fun to pull out of the oobleck.
  • Give your child small utensils to dig out toys. Or even better, hide small items in the oobleck and see if he or she can find them.
  • Push your hand in and see how easy it is to pull it out (just be careful the bowl may go flying).
  • Add different elements like coloring or glitter to get a different feel.

Tip For Clean-Up

We played with our oobleck outside. When we were done, we rinsed our hands in a bucket of water and used a towel to dry off. The baby powder instantly came off my daughter’s hands.

child's hands being washed in a bucket of water.

Homemade Oobelck FAQs

Can I use flour to make oobleck?

Not unless you want a sticky pancake batter mess on your hands. Flour does not have the same properties as corn starch or its substitutes.
If you only have flour, consider making homemade playdough instead. We have a great slow cooker playdough recipe that does use cream of tartar.

Is oobleck a solid or a liquid?

Oobleck is considered a non-newtonian fluid or a liquid and solid. You can experiment with what happens when you squeeze the oobleck or just hold it. You will notice that when pressure is added it be

Is Tapioca powder and flour the same thing?

Yes, pretty much. It just depends on the marketing and packaging from different companies.

What happens if it is too watery? Or too thick?

If it is too watery, slowly add more baby powder until you see it clump on the spoon. If it is too thick add a little water and stir to get the right consistency.

Are there any other powders you can try to use to make Oobleck?

Arrowroot powder can be used instead of Tapioca or baby powder.

Related Fun Kid Activities

Oobleck Recipe Without Cornstarch

Learn how to make oobleck using baby powder or tapioca powder.
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Keyword: oobleck recipe, oobleck recipe without cornstarch
Cost: under $5

Equipment

  • Bowl
  • Plastic Spoon
  • Measuring cup

Materials

  • 1 cup Baby Powder or Tapioca Powder
  • 1/2 cup Water

Instructions

  • Pour baby powder or tapioca powder into a bowl.
    white baby powder in measuring cup with water in 1/2 cup next to it.
  • Add water.
    child'd hand pouring in 1/2 cup water to baby powder.
  • Mix slowly and scrape the bottom of the bowl.
    hand mixing baby powder and water together to make oobleck.
  • Optional: Add food coloring.
    two hand adding red food coloring to homemade oobleck.
  • Play with your fun oobleck.
    hand playing in baby powder oobleck.

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