The Peppermint Oobleck Activity is an exciting sensory experience that encourages fine motor development, sensory learning, and hours of fun! This DIY activity is a safe and interactive hands-on experience that teaches children about states of matter, pressure, and more. Peppermint Oobleck engages the senses of touch and smell, encouraging children to interact with the Oobleck on multiple levels.

How does peppermint Oobleck work?

A simple mixture of cornstarch and water creates Oobleck, a substance that transforms from a liquid to a solid with the simple addition of pressure. Pressure-dependent substances such as Oobleck are known as non-Newtonian fluids. By applying pressure to the mixture, the viscosity (thickness) increases, making the Oobleck feel hard and solid. When you run your hands slowly through the Oobleck, the mixture feels like a smooth liquid because the cornstarch particles are more fluid and movable. As children get their hands directly into the mixture, they will quickly learn how the pressure of their hands and movement throughout the mixture can turn the Oobleck from a solid to a liquid and then back again.

What are the benefits of fine motor activities for young learners?

The addition of peppermints into the Oobleck mixture provides a unique outlet for developing fine motor skills. Have children use tweezers or other tools to move and pluck the peppermints out of the Oobleck. This fine motor activity helps to develop the muscles and coordination necessary for children to complete important tasks such as holding pencils, writing, and buttoning clothes. The peppermints also create beautiful swirls of red throughout the Oobleck and release a wonderfully minty scent in the air!

Materials:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Cake or Brownie Pan
  • Corn Starch
  • Warm Water
  • Peppermint Candies
  • Easy-Grip Tweezers

What to Do:

  1. Mix 2 cups of corn starch with 1 cup of warm water. We recommend mixing with your hands instead of using a spoon or spatula. If you want to make a larger batch of Oobleck, be sure to keep a 2:1 ratio of corn starch to water.
  2. Once fully mixed (there should be no lumps left in the mixture), pour the Oobleck into your cake or brownie pan.
  3. Drop several peppermint candies into the Oobleck. Encourage children to retrieve the candy from the mixture. Children can do this with their hands or they can use tweezers. Since Oobleck changes from a liquid to a solid when pressure is applied, pushing and grabbing the candy becomes a surprisingly challenging task. It's a perfect way to help children sharpen fine motor skills!

Include the Peppermint Oobleck Activity in your classroom to encourage early exposure to hands-on fine motor opportunities through multisensory experiences. Be sure to browse all of our fine motor materials for additional ways to help children develop their fine motor skills!