Squish It! Squeeze It! Smash It!
The Science of Slime
Slime is a polymer. Polymers are made up of long, bendy molecules that are kind of like spaghetti! There are lots of good examples of polymers, like plastic cups, balloons, and even skin.
Polymers actually have two parts. The long, bendy polymer molecules are not very sticky, so to make a big polymer, we need to add a "cross-linker." We will be talking more about how a cross-linker functions in regard to making a borax solution. Read through the rest of the instructions to get a mini science lesson on the sticky substance kids can't seem to get enough of.
Where to Play With Slime
If you don't want your entire home to become covered in slime, limit where it can be played with. We suggest over a tray at a table and not on top of your grandmother's oriental carpet.
Gather the Materials
To make slime, you will need:
- Glue (clear or white)
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring spoons
- Cup Measurer
- Popsicle stick
- Food coloring (optional)
For the Solution
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1 tsp of borax
Pour Glue Into Mixing Bowl
If you're making slime for one child to play with, you'll need about a cup of glue. You can use clear glue or white glue depending on what you have available. If you want your slime to have more of a “flubber” feel, try adding a tablespoon of water to your glue.
Measure Warm Water for the Borax Solution
Measure out 1 cup of warm water into a jar or small bowl. We mixed our solution in a larger liquid measuring cup. You'll want to use warm water, as it helps the borax dissolve into the solution.
Tip: If you are making slime as a STEAM activity, discuss what a solution is with your child. A solution is when you mix together two or more ingredients, that once combined cannot be separated. A great example of a solution is hot chocolate: when you mix together the milk and cocoa, the cocoa cannot be taken out of the milk.
Add Borax to the Warm Water
Measure out 1 teaspoon of Borax. The borax (sodium tetraborate aqueous) is going to act as a cross-linker. Cross-linkers are like fork molecules; they hook our long spaghetti polymer molecules together to make our larger polymer—slime!
Set your solution to the side for now.
Add Sparkle or Color to the Glue
With your solution set to the side, focus your attention back on your glue. Now's the time to decide what you want your slime to look like. Do you want it to sparkle? If so, add in glitter. There is no right or wrong amount of glitter to add. Do you want your slime to be a certain color? If so, add in a few drops of food coloring.
Mix Together the Glitter and Glue
Use a popsicle stick to mix together your glitter, glue, and food coloring. Stir until everything is combined well.
Add Borax Solution to the Glue While Mixing
Bring your cup of borax solution close to your mixing bowl and measure out 1 tablespoon. Pour the tablespoon of solution into your mixing bowl and stir fast.
What you'll see happen is a chemical reaction. Two things were mixed together and we end up with something new. If your new polymer is too sticky, add a teaspoon of your solution and keep mixing.
Knead the Slime
Roll up your sleeves and dive in with two hands. In order to reach a less sticky slime consistency, you will need to knead the slime with your hands to make sure the borax solution is fully integrated into the glue. Keep kneading until the slime is at a consistency that your kids deem fun to play with.