After our fizzling baking soda and vinegar experiment, I couldn’t wait to do something a little more hands on experiments for preschoolers. And I knew just what I wanted to try…something I remembered doing back in junior high school.
This is another kitchen science experiment that really only takes 2 ingredients, but adding food coloring makes it a lot more fun!
Corn Starch and Water Experiment
I let them try feeling the corn starch. They loved how silky it was, so different from baking soda and flour. And definitely messier! (You should have seen my camera after these pics!)
Then we added 1 cup of water (and a few drops of food coloring) and started stirring. (You could use green food coloring and make it St. Patrick’s Day Goo, or call it Oobleck from Dr. Seuss’ Bartholomew and the Oobleck.)
The mixture should look like a liquid, but it should be hard to stir and feel stiff. If it’s not quite there, add a little more corn starch, a tablespoon at a time, until it is the consistency that you like.
My daughter had to put her hands in it right away!
She loved how it felt hard when she squeezed it and then would ooze between her fingers when she opened her hand. The best part? When she said, “Mommy, I love this! Thank you!” (Yes, she really said that.)
He preferred using the spoon to test its liquid and solid qualities…and drip it all over the table.
As they played, we talked about solids and liquids. I mentioned to them how similar their container of gunk was to quicksand, having qualities of both a liquid and a solid. Of course then we had to try putting a few small objects on top to see what would happen. It was fun to watch the pennies slowly sink beneath the surface. It was even better to see Peanut’s reaction when she tried to get them back out!
If you do this experiment, I recommend having a large bowl of water on hand for kids to soak their hands in afterwards. Since we did ours in cheap plastic containers, I was able to put the lids on and save them to play with again the next day — I just added a little water to it again a few tablespoons at a time.
It is definitely a messy, but fun, hands-on learning experience that we will be repeating!
Be sure to check out these fun science experiments:
- Fun and Foamy Elephant Toothpaste
- Melt the Frozen Heart — Perfect for Valentine’s Day or Frozen fans!
- Amazing Vanishing Ghosts
- Make a Glowing, Rubber Egg!