Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

The August Break #14: Cornstarch Fun

2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water
food coloring as desired

This is a wonderfully fun substance to play with. It acts like a solid when you add pressure and a liquid when you don't. Adding the cornstarch to the water changed the reaction time of the liquid. Usually liquids move so quickly we do not notice how long it takes them to move. Oobleck has a finite reaction time. We can see how long it takes for it to react. We can make oobleck act like both a solid and a liquid. A liquid like this is called a non-Newtonian fluid because it does not follow the rules that Newton discovered most liquids follow. A non-Newtonian fluid has properties of both a solid and a liquid and reacts to stress with increased viscosity. Cornstarch (amylose) and water can be considered a colloidal suspension. A colloidal suspension is a two-phase system in which the starch and water are not dissolved but simply mixed into a permanent suspension that will not settle on standing.

Original Fingerpaint
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups cold water
food coloring

In a medium pan, mix all the ingredients together to make the finger paint. Cook over low heat 10 to 15 minutes. Keep stirring the finger paint mixture until it is smooth and thick. After the finger paint has thickened take the pan off the stove and let the mixture cool.
After cooling, divide the finger paint into storage containers depending on how many colors you would like. Add a few drops of food coloring to each container. Stir the coloring in to the paint to determine the shade of color. You're ready to finger paint! Cover tightly when storing.

Cornstarch Fingerpaint
3 cups water
1 cup cornstarch
food coloring

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Dissolve cornstarch in a separate bowl with water. Remove boiling water from heat and add cornstarch mixture. Return to heat, stirring constantly. Boil until the mixture is clear and thick (about 1 minute). Remove from heat.
As the mixture is cooling, divide into separate bowls and add food coloring. Let the children carefully mix in the coloring.
Add 1 tbsp of glycerin to make the mixture shiny. You can find glycerin in most drugstores or pharmacies.

Sidewalk Paint
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Food coloring
Paintbrushes In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and cold water. Stir in as many drops of food coloring as you need to get your desired color. Repeat this process for each paint color. Use a paintbrush to make fun designs on the sidewalk or driveway. To wash the paint off, simply spray the area with water.

Have you seen us at Little Learners? This idea is originally from here at Family Fun.


  1. I just bought corn starch to do this Glad to hear it comes off easy

  2. The colors are beautiful! Good ol' corn starch too. Thank you.

  3. I need to try your corn starch finger paint recipe - it sounds great!

  4. what fantastic fun

  5. Four fab recipes, perfect for the Messy Play Carnival - thank you. We call oobleck 'goop'!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It means so much.