Gloop Science and Math

Gooey Learning FunUsborne 50 Science Projects for Kids orange gloop child's hands in mess

  • What: Gloop Science and Math
  • When: 3 years and up
  • Why: Educational and entertaining
  • Where: At home

We whipped out our beloved Gloop recipe the other day. It is by far my kids’ favorite project from Usborne’s 50 Science Projects for Kids. We’ve enjoyed this experiment for years and my kids still love making and playing with it.

Orange gloop from Usborne 50 Science Projects for Kids book child playing in sensory material on mat
Gloop acts like both a liquid and a solid.

I love this project because of its simplicity. It only requires two ingredients, cornstarch and water, (and food coloring if you want to add color), and can be mixed by kids. Simply add twice as much cornstarch as water, and go from there until you have a mixture that starts to ooze.

Gloop sensory play material with drops of orange food coloring swirled in container
Add a couple drops of food coloring to make your gloop brighter.

A couple drops of food coloring go a long way. Kids can squeeze the gloop to make it hard like a solid, or let it rest and watch it ooze like a liquid. Regardless of how they play, it comes off their hands with water, and wipes easily off most surfaces. It can be stored in an airtight container for several days for lots of repeated play.

Best of all, if you have kids stuck at home, you can incorporate all sorts of learning with this simple activity. When kids measure the cornstarch and water, they get math practice. You can have them figure out how much water and cornstarch to add using fractions, or younger kids can work on counting with both the measuring of ingredients and adding drops of color.

Child letting orange gloop sensory material ooze from fingers and hand down to mat on table
Despite the mess, everything cleans up easily with minimal effort.

Once you have the gloop mixed up, toss a little science into the mix for more learning fun. You can get into a discussion of particles for older kids, or explain the characteristics of liquids and solids with younger ones. Or you can just set your child in front of a bowl and let them play while you get a little time for yourself. Either way, you can’t go wrong with a bowl of gloop.

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