Slime never ceases to fascinate kids, and it seems it’s all the rage again! Which is great news, because you can make slime right at home, and maybe even learn a little science while you’re at it!
Turns out you can make slime with any number of household items. A big component of most recipes is glue. Good old Elmer’s Washable works just fine.
All of these recipes are for one 'serving' of slime (not edible!) for one child. We find that 1/4 cup of glue makes a perfectly generous handful of slime (many websites call for a whole cup, but then your glue stock disappears!)
Check all ingredients for anything that might be an allergen for your kids.
Supervise to make sure your kids don't eat the slime (especially any containing borax).
Wash your hands before and after making slime! Clean hands makes clean slime, and washing up after makes a clean you!
Click on the icons to skip to the recipe of your choice:
Want the purest, clearest, snottiest slime there is? Try this recipe out for a glass-like finish to your new slime!
A Note On Borax: Borax is a boron mineral and salt that comes right from the ground. It's often used as a laundry detergent enhancer or cleaner, but it is toxic if ingested in large amounts.
Just handling it while playing with slime from this recipe won't cause any harm, but you might consider supervision to prevent ingestion. This is the only recipe that uses it.
If you're still nervous, liquid starch works just as well - see Glitter Slime (makes for slightly stretchier slime too). Read about borax in slime from Parents.com for more information.
1. Pour 1/4 cup of clear glue into a bowl.
2. Add 1/4 cup of water and stir. Set the bowl aside for a bit.
3. To the measuring cup, add 1/4 cup of hot tap water.
4. Add 1/4 teaspoon of borax powder to the hot water in the measuring cup. Stir until you can't see any little particles at the bottom.
5. Add the borax and water solution to your bowl of glue and water. Slimetastic!
6. Knead your slime to get a great texture.
Note: if some of the liquid won't stir in, that's okay, just pull out your slime and dispose of the extra liquid.
What's going on?
Try experimenting with the slime a bit - move it around, poke it gently, poke it quickly... How does it behave? More like a liquid or more like a solid? If you think the slime seems like both a solid and a liquid, you're right! Some types of slime (and other mixtures like ooblek - see Recipe #6 below) can have qualities of both a solid and a liquid. Substances that can behave like a solid and a liquid at the same time are called non-Newtonian fluids. (Big word, right?!)How does it work?
Glue is made of long molecules called polymers. Polymers are long chains of repeating units. These polymers can slide over each other, so glue flows like a thick liquid. When borax is added to glue, a chemical reaction occurs that causes cross-links, or bridges, to form between the glue molecules.
This cross-linking of glue molecules is what creates slime. You may have noticed that if you leave the slime alone, it acts like a liquid and will mold to the shape of its container. This happens because the long slime molecules coil up and slide over each other.
But when you apply pressure, this causes the molecular coils to unwind and get tangled up. This makes it harder for the slime to flow, so it feels more like a solid. Pretty cool, right? Now you know what a non-Newtonian fluids is! To learn more about these interesting materials check out this cool video from Crash Course Kids!
Let's get our glitter on! This is a very popular recipe.
1. Add 1/4 cup of glue to your bowl.
2. Add 1/4 cup of water and mix.
3. Add glitter (don't be shy, add a lot!) and stir.
4. Add 1/4 cup of liquid starch and watch the reaction before your eyes!
5. Stir with the spoon until that becomes difficult, then use your hands.
Note: You can also add food coloring along with the glitter if you want some more color! Try other materials, like confetti, stars, or combinations!
In it for the stretch? This is a very satisfying slime that takes a little more patience, but is well worth the wait.
1. Add 1/2 cup of glue to the measuring cup.
2. Add food coloring if you want to add color. Stir.
3. Add 2 teaspoons baking soda and stir
4. Add the eye drops 10 drops at a time, stirring after every set of 10, for a total of 50 drops.
5. Wet your fingers a bit with the eye drops and pick up your slime. It should still be a little sticky.
6. Knead your slime by stretching and pulling.
This entertaining slime is made of shaving cream - and who hasn't wanted to play with shaving cream? The very act of spraying it into the bowl is a thrill for most kids.
1. Add about 2 cups of shaving cream into your bowl.
2. Add food coloring if you want! (We used blue and yellow to make green)
3. Add 1/4 cup of glue. Stir well.
4. Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
5. Add 1/2 Tablespoon of the saline solution. Mix like you're whipping cream (vigorously!)
6. Remove and knead with your hands.
At first the slime will stick to your hands quite a bit, but just keep kneading (for about one minute). Eventually the poofy slime will come together and form a ball (and come off your hands)!
Call them dragon eggs, frog eggs, or just spongy goodness, this is an easy experiment - it's basically the same recipe as glitter slime except with polystyrene beads. True confession: we didn't make this one ourselves, but our friends at Little Bins for Little Hands did - take a look at the fun they had!
1. Start by adding 1/4 cup of glue to your bowl.
2. Add 1/4 cup of water and mix.
3. Add food coloring (if you want!) and stir.
4. Add the styrofoam beads - anywhere from 1/2 to a full cup - and stir.
5. Add 1/4 cup of liquid starch and stir.
6. Knead and stretch, it should be ready (not sticky) in about a minute!
Have you heard of ooblek? It’s that crazy material that you can make with just cornstarch and water. We mentioned ooblek in Recipe #1 above - it's another example of a non-Newtonian fluid. To learn more about these interesting materials check out this cool video from Crash Course Kids!
If your child has never experienced ooblek, start by first making and experimenting with that:
Ooblek: Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 5 tablespoons water and blow their mind.
You could call ooblek a type of slime, but it doesn't quite make the cut; you can't really hold it in your hand without it dripping all over.
As fun as it is, you might have to go the extra mile and follow the glue recipe below to make it more traditionally slime-like. Let’s try it:
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