How To Make Homemade Quicksand

Here’s a neat activity your kids will love to do again and again, and share with all their friends! With just a little bit of water and cornstarch, they can create what is known as a Non-Newtonian fluid. When pressed or squeezed, the molecules bind together and make the quicksand feel hard. But when the mixture is relaxed, the molecules separate and slide around like a liquid.

Adapted from Science Around the House by Roz Fulcher (Dover)


  • Bowl
  • 1 ¾ cups cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • Food coloring (optional)


  1. Set out a bowl and mix together the cornstarch and water. Optional: Add in food dye to add some color!
  1. Have your kids gently lay their hands on the surface to see how their hands sink into the mixture. Next, have them try to move their hands through the mixture quickly–it’s a lot harder!