Quick Sand – Experiment At Home

It’s not likely that you’ll get to see quicksand often in your life, so why not make a much safer version of it right at home? The Quick Sand science experiment isn’t very complicated, but is a ton of fun to do with a younger pair of hands to help!

You will need:

  • Maize Cornflour (2 cups)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • A large mixing bowl
  • A mixing spoon (optional)
  • Objects to put into the Quick Sand (e.g. coins, paperclips, small toys)

Method:

  • Firstly, inside your mixing bowl, you’ll want to empty the 2 cups of maize cornflour and cup of water.
  • Next, stir the two of them together either with your hands or a mixing spoon as a less messy option.
  • Depending on how quickly you stir, you’ll end up with either quite a gloppy mixture or a harder variant. Stir quickly to get it solid enough to resemble dough.
  • Adding too much liquid can also make it not solid enough to work properly. A good way to test your mixture is to squeeze it and see if it settles in your hand.
  • Once you think you’ve got it right, go ahead and test it with your child by putting in some objects. Small toys and figurines work well, just keep in mind you’ll have to fish them out afterwards.
  • Things can easily get messy during this activity, but I hope you and your child enjoy the Quick Sand science experiment!

The Science Bit:

Quicksand is a sloshy variation of sand that forms when exposed to water. More specifically, water and loose sand combine in a way that keeps the sand a solid until heavy weight is put onto it. This is because the water cannot escape. After that, the sand loses its strength and acquires the characteristics of a liquid. More commonly, quicksand will form when also exposed to mud or clay that acts as the underlying layer to stop the water from draining. However, some sand is so loose that even a footstep can be enough to break that underlying layer and turn the sand into quicksand.