Make a batch of quicksand for your next science themed birthday party! Your birthday party guests will love helping create this intriguing substance that simulates quicksand. Once the quicksand is created, your birthday party guests can enjoy sensory play as well as the more challenging feat of crossing the quicksand without sinking! This activity is inexpensive, super simple, and the hands on aspect is big hit at science themed birthday parties.
Bowl for each guest
Food coloring (optional)
Plastic spoon for each guest
Shallow plastic bin
Small plastic animals (optional)
You will need to mix up enough quicksand to put a layer about two inches deep in your shallow plastic bin. You can adjust the following quantities incrementally to make the volume of quicksand you need for your birthday party quicksand if the amounts mixed by the guests do not create the necessary depth.
Distribute one bowl and one plastic spoon to each guest.
Measure out ¾ cup of water into each participant’s bowl.
The guests can now add a drop or two of food coloring to the water. I like to have several colors available as the children love being able to choose their color. The different colors often create an interesting look once all the quicksand is combined in the plastic bin.
Add 1 cup of corn starch to each guest’s bowl and instruct the guests to use the spoon to mix the items together.
Allow the birthday party guests some time to explore and enjoy their quicksand. It is fun to have small plastic animals available for the guests to play with in their quicksand. Just make sure that none of the plastic animals end up in the plastic bin!
Once you are ready to move onto the next phase of the activity, ask the guest to remove their shoes and socks. While the guest are doing this, lay out some newspaper in a flat area free of clutter.
Place the plastic bin in the center of the newspaper and dump each bowl of quicksand into the plastic bin. You may need to add more corn starch and water to create enough depth to give the sinking sensation and necessary consistency.
Once the bin of quicksand is ready, have the guests one at a time step into the bin and stand on the quicksand. You can also allow each guest to quickly step on and off the quicksand to experience the difference.
This is a great experiment for almost any science themed birthday party. A jungle themed party can easily benefit from this fun activity as your guests imagine reaching for vines to pull themselves free. The quicksand can simulate the surface of an alien planet for a space birthday party or the quicksand is a fun fit for a dinosaur themed celebration.