Christmas Tree Science

We had a little Snowy Christmas Tree Science fun today at the Left Brain Craft Brain house…  We played with a very special material called Oobleck. And we used it as snow for a miniature Christmas tree forest that The Babe made and decorated. Like always, I love the projects that are a little bit arty and a little bit science-y…  So get ready for some messy, science fun to put you into the Christmas spirit.  This post contains affiliate links.

Decorate a miniature Christmas tree forest and make it snow with gooey oobleck! Perfect for messy, science fun that builds STEM / STEAM skills in your kids.

What is Oobleck?

Oobleck is one of the best messy play materials out there.  It’s a suspension of corn starch in water that feels like a solid when you quickly touch it, but if you take a slower approach, your fingers move right through it like a liquid.  How can this happen?  Because Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid.  Non-Newtonian fluids like Oobleck, quick sand and silly putty change state based upon the pressure that it is applied to it.

Oobleck got its silly name from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck {affiliate}.  It’s a story about a gooey substance that falls from the sky because the king is bored with normal weather.  And that’s how I got the idea to turn the oobleck into a snow shower over a Christmas tree forest!


Snowy Christmas Science Supplies Needed:

You’ll need the following for this project.

Snowy Christmas Tree Science Supplies Left Brain Craft BRainFor the trees:

  • Small pine boughs
  • Yellow and brown play dough
  • Red pipe cleaners
  • Sparkles

For the Oobleck:

  • 2 cups corn starch
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • Baking pan, bin or tray to play in

Build and Decorate the Christmas Tree Forest

We don’t have any pine trees so we had to go over to our neighbor’s house and offer to give their trees a bit of a haircut.  You don’t need much, just a few tips about 2-5 inches long.  It’s fun to have them in varying heights.  To make them stable for this experiment, stick the base of the pine cutting into a ball of play dough (we used brown, but anything will do.).

Decorate the Trees Left Brain Craft Brain

The Babe decorated the trees by wrapping a pipe cleaner garland around each of the trees.  She then added a “star” topper and sparkles for a little bit of bling.  This part is really up to each kiddo as there is no right or wrong way to do it.  Also, if Christmas isn’t the holiday of choice, you can skip the decorating and just make this a Christmas tree science activity.Christmas Trees Left Brain Craft Brain

Make the Oobleck

To make the Oobleck, mix two cups of corn starch with 3/4 cup of water.  Stir until the cornstarch is completely suspended in the water (you can’t see any powder).  You may need to adjust the amounts of both corn starch and water based upon the moisture in the corn starch.  How do you know if you have it right?  When stirring, it should be about as thick as honey and will break into chunks if you put a lot of pressure on it.  If it’s more like whole milk, add a little more corn starch.  If it only breaks into chunks, even with slow, soft pressure, add a little bit of water and stir again.

Play & Learn With Oobleck Christmas Tree Science

Now it’s time for the kiddos to experience Oobleck.  Encourage them to get dirty but you might want to give them a spoon in case the stickiness becomes too much.  Be sure to point out how the fluid changes when they quickly press it vs. when they slowly move their hands through it.  My daughter loved mixing and pouring the snow over the trees and mixing more (!!!) sparkles into the snow.  Christmas Trees in Oobleck Snow Left Brain Craft Brain 2

Snowy Christmas Tree Science Oobleck Left Brain Craft Brain FB

This is the post-forest aftermath.  A sparkly, play doughy mess of fun that she played with for a long time!  Even though this looks really messy, clean up is pretty simple.  Just get a wet towel, wipe the bits into your hand and throw in the trash.

Oobleck After the Christmas Forest Left Brain Craft Brain

If you like this project, I have a few Pinterest boards you might like.  STEM, Christmas and Play Dough, Goop & Slime…  Come follow and see what other fun stuff I’ve found!

Follow Anne @ Left Brain Craft Brain’s board STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Activities on Pinterest.

Follow Anne @ Left Brain Craft Brain’s board Christmas on Pinterest.

Follow Anne @ Left Brain Craft Brain’s board Play Dough, Goop and Slime on Pinterest.


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