Because this goop recipe uses only natural ingredients, it is unlikely to cause any skin irritations, but it is likely to have your child thinking, ‘I wonder what would happen if I put my whole body into the goop?’ Goop, oobleck, or natural slime (it goes by a few different names!) is a wonderful sensory experience for children. But it is messy play!

The results of this recipe are brilliant, and the sensory learning experience is second-to-none, especially for toddlers. That said, even our 10 year old still loves making and playing with goop, or oobleck.

But do note, the clean-up is more than just a quick wipe up with a sponge. Be prepared for this to turn into a full-body experience. As your child wonders at the possibilities of applying goop to thier arms, face and maybe even hair! At the very least, have a clean towel ready, and set this one up over the sink, or over hardwood floors that you can wipe quickly. You may even want to spread a towel or two around them, to use for instant clean-up when they’re done.

The hose might even come in handy, if your child has a penchant for exploration. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! 😉 Just joking. But you may want to consider setting this up outside if it’s a nice day. It really is easy to just hose it all down at the end of playtime.

How to Make Goop, Oobleck or Natural Slime

Set-up time – easy
Clean-up time – high
Mess factor – awesome

You will need:
A large bowl
Food colouring
1 cup warm water
2 cups cornflour
Dishwashing liquid (optional)
A whisk for mixing
A large tray or trough in which to play with the slime
Spoons, whisks, funnels,
Sticks, hands…

What to do

1. In the bowl, mix the colour and the warm water, or, if using homemade colour, heat the food colouring without adding water. You can make the slime using cold water or cold food colouring, but the cornflour will be clumpier.

2. Slowly add the cornflour, mixing and blending as you go. If it’s too runny, add more cornflour; if it’s too firm, add more water. If you want the mixture to be a little more slippery, or you’re hoping to give your patio or verandah a thorough clean when tidy-up time rolls around, then add in a little squirt of dishwashing liquid (too much will cut through the slimy qualities and leave you with a sloppy mess). You should be left with a substance that looks like a liquid but is firm to the touch.

3. Turn out your blob onto the tray or trough and let them at it. Drive cars through it, submerge animal figurines in it, mix it with sticks or attack it with cooking utensils.

This slime, goop or oobleck recipe looks way worse than it is. It dries hard and floury, so if they do happen to traipse it through the house, just wait for the mess to dry, and vacuum it up. There is always the chance of the food colouring staining though, so try to keep it contained to areas of easy wipe down, clean up.

Outside, just set the hose on it – and your kids.

Rachel Sumner describes herself as a play-at-home mum of Margaux (four) and Frankie (two and a half ). She has been a children’s book rep for retailer Beattie Forbes and while living in Blenheim, she spent 12 months as the children’s book reviewer for the Marlborough Express. She is currently a book reviewer for the Australian Women’s Weekly.

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A bunch of you have been asking me, Does this work with play dough? YES! It does and it s so cool.

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