Whether it’s your first time attempting to make slime or you are a regular slime-aholic who mixes up a batch for every special occasion, read on to explore many neat squishy ways your kids can experiment and learn with their SLIME!
My go-to slime recipe for preschool-age kids is: Equal parts Water, Regular Elmer’s Glue (not the School Glue!), and Liquid Starch from the laundry aisle.
- Mix the water with the glue first, and add food coloring if you like. Stir until blended.
- Then mix in the liquid starch. It will start to pull away from the sides of the cup as you stir in the starch.
- It may still be a bit soupy, so here’s when you scoop it out and start squishing it around in your hands (your hands absorb some of the water, so more squishing will help it get it to a perfect slimy consistency).
- Store it in a zip-top baggie to keep in moisture, and you can continue to play with it for several days!
There are a gazillion other slime recipes out there. Here are a few of my favorites:
Glitter Slime from Little Bins for Little Hands : Very similar to the recipe above, just swap out regular glue for glitter glue…adds sparkle, and a slightly different consistency.
Fluffy Bubblegum Slime from ARTBAR: Super squishy consistency. This one does contain Borax, which although perfectly safe for *limited* external use, I do not recommend for young children who may accidentally ingest the slime.
Sand Slime from Momdot.com: This recipe uses shaving cream and sand for an ultra-sensory experience!
10 WAYS TO EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR SLIME:
- Drip It: Because slime has characteristics of a liquid, it will drip (very slowly). Hold your wad of slime about a foot above the table and use a timer to measure how long it takes to touch the table. Make a hypothesis and race your friends!
- Bounce It: Slime also acts like a solid, so it will bounce like a rubber ball! Roll the slime into a ball shape and toss it onto the floor or table. How high can you make it bounce? Test small balls versus big balls to see which bounces higher!
- Melt the blob: Just like liquids, slime will spread out and appear to melt if you let it sit. Set your ball of slime on the table and see what happens to it after 5 minutes.
- Strrrrrrreeeeeeeeettttttttcchhhh It: Because of the chain-like shape of the glue molecules, slime will stretch and stretch and stretch if you pull it slowly enough. Make a hypothesis and see how far you can stretch your wad of slime before it breaks!
- Pull It! Like most solids, slime will break if you apply enough force. Try grabbing your slime with two hands and pulling quickly this time. Test different rates of pulling to see the exact point where it will snap instead of stretch.
- Poke It: A colloid like slime will feel soft and squishy if you poke it with your finger very slowly. But if you poke it quickly it will feel hard like a solid! Test this out by making a flat pancake shape and press down slowly with one finger (your finger will sink into the slime). Re-form your pancake and then poke it very quickly, and it should feel quite solid.
- Sensory play: Whether you are a curious toddler or a playful grownup, slime is just plain fun to play with! Letting kids explore the slime on their own allows them to use their senses and imaginations, which is key to developing scientific thinking skills. (This Pirate’s Booty Slime from Farm Girl Gabs looks like a fun one to try!)
- Make Sticky Spiderwebs: My kids are obsessed with spiderwebs, so we used some glitter slime to “catch” plastic bugs. I got out the A-Z bug identification book too, and we played and learned for hours!
- Scissor Skills from homegrownfriends.com: Let the slime drip through a tall kitchen rack and practice scissor skills by cutting off the ribbons.
- Alphabet Matching Game from No Time for Flashcards: Add alphabet beads to your favorite slime for a great early learning alphabet game!
What’s the difference between SLIME and OOBLECK?
Cornstarch Oobleck: If your kids are very young and still eat everything they play with, I would recommend using the simple blend of 1 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup water (add food coloring if you want) to make a squishy, sticky oobleck.
OOBLECK (also known in geeky science circles as GAK) is a Non-Newtonian Fluid, meaning it is a type of liquid that also has characteristics of a solid. For example, oobleck will drip through your fingers like a liquid, but feels like a solid if you smack it. You can slice it with a knife like a solid, but then it will begin to flow back together like a liquid. (Other not so dramatic examples of non-Newtonian fluids are cream, which becomes thicker with continuous stirring, or honey and tomato sauce, that both get thinner as they are vigorously stirred.).
Oobleck is great for little ones because it is non-toxic and edible, but it is fun to play with no matter how old you are!