Looking for a fun sensory experience to do at home? Create a fall oobleck tray! It's a great hands on STEM lesson and sensory learning experience for toddlers, preschoolers, and school aged kids!
This is definitely a messy activity, so you may want to do it outdoors, but it's VERY easy to clean!
If you're wondering what is oobleck, it's basically the original slime. Learn how to make oobleck here.
- cornstarch (we use this one)
- fall foliage + items (real or faux)
- spoon (optional)
This is just another twist on a sensory bin! Oobleck becomes the base and then just add in any fall foliage or finds, and a spoon or scooper of some sort.
Make your oobleck, add it to a tray. Give your toddler or preschooler some utensils (spoon, ladle, fork, etc.) and the fall items you've been using (pine cones, rocks, acorns/seeds, and sturdy leaves or sticks work well here!).
Fall sensory play time!
From here you can sit back and just watch your toddler explore the fall themed oobleck. Let them mix their “fall soup!” Offer a bowl for them to scoop out the fall items if you'd like.
You can also let the oobleck dry out overnight. The next day they can take a hammer or fork or their fingers to excavate their fall items that have become “fossilized.”
Fall Oobleck Tray Activities For Toddlers:
You can dye your oobleck orange or yellow to up the fall vibes.
Consider themed your fall oobleck tray too! Do one with different leaves, one with different rocks, one with acorns, one with a mixture!
Just go outside for a walk and come up with different themes! You can also repurpose the items for a fun Montessori Fall Sorting Activity
How My Toddler Enjoys This Activity:
She has an absolute blast with it!
My daughter doesn't love to get her hands messy, so when we first set it up, she likes to use a spoon more than her hands.
Her favorite part is as the mixture hardens. She likes to get her materials out and watch them sink back in.
Then when it fully hardens and she can crack the oobleck is when her real fun begins! She uses her imagination to come up with different scenarios based on the shapes of the oobleck. For instance, she pulled a big chunk that was shaped like a fish and she kept going “fish fish” and pretended it was swimming over the mix. Then she'd take a rock and go “smash smash” as she broke the mix into other chunks.
Since the oobleck is more of a soft/crumbly texture at this point, it falls off her hands a lot easier and she enjoys it more.
Set up + clean up time:
This activity takes about 3 minutes to set up and can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes to clean up!
Because oobleck solidifies when pressure is applied, it will harden when your toddler grabs it, but then when they lift their hands out of the mixture, it will turn back into a liquid. This ends up creating quite the mess. Prepare for lots of drips on the floors or counters!
This would be a good fall activity to do outdoors if you want to keep the mess off your floors.
With that said, all you need is a little hot water to clean oobleck! It's super easy to just wipe away and doesn't stain clothes.
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