It’s wet, it’s slippery, it’s squishy, it’s oh-so-ooey-gooey. The kids love it — and we’re not complaining! Making slime is an easy and fun activity that requires zero screen time and tons of creativity. It’s basically a science experiment that provides endless fun. Ok, maybe not endless – but long enough to fill the gaps between declarations of boredom on bad-weather days indoors.
When my kids starting bugging me to make slime, I was originally hesitant to whip up a batch at home. I’m hardly the Pinterest parent. Visions of glue on the ceiling and food coloring stains on my kitchen table danced in my head. So I ditched the messy home science project and took the easy route, snagging a store-bought container. Big mistake.
I don’t know what kind of chemical-laden toy factory produced such an icky, horrid substance designed for child’s play, but that greasy goop was tossed in the trash with record-breaking speed. So since I had 86’d their store slime, I ended up doing the homemade slime thing after all. And it was a success!
Half the fun of slime time is the cool process of making it. Although you’re simply tossing a few basic ingredients into a bowl and mixing away, you’re actually creating a real-life chemical reaction. It’s interesting, and makes for a great learning experience for kids. I could get into it now (and sound super smart, throwing around fancy words like “non-Newtonian” and “viscosity”) but I only have so much room on this page. So just google “slime science” and read until it makes enough sense to mold into a lesson for your kids.
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I found the slime was also very simple to make, with hardly any mess at all. My kids are 6 and 9, so they were able to keep most of their mixtures inside the bowl. Obviously younger children will need help mixing and adding ingredients, and your likelihood of a mess increases with the little ones. The whole process took less than five minutes, my kids got a HUGE kick out of it, and played with their slime for a good part of the afternoon.
We’ll probably be whipping up a batch of slime around here pretty frequently to stave off any indoor boredom blues. Below is the very simple recipe I used for our first time, followed by some tips for more adventurous concoctions you can try once you’ve mastered the basic technique.
You will need:
½ tablespoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of contact lens solution (must be a brand containing boric acid)
4-ounce bottle of Elmer’s white school glue
Your choice of food coloring
- Pour the entire contents of a 4oz of Elmer’s school glue into a large bowl.
- Add ½ tablespoon of baking soda and mix.
- After mixing, add a few drops of your choice of food coloring.
- Add 1 tablespoon of contact lens solution.
- Mix until slime forms and it begins to get harder to mix.
- Take the slime out and begin kneading with both of your hands.
- Store in plastic container.
- For less sticky slime, add an additional ¼ tablespoon contact lens solution.
- Add glitter when you drop in the food coloring for sparkly slime. You could also use glitter glue instead of white glue.
- Buy your glue in bulk to make huge batches of slime.
- For extra fluffy slime, add 1 ½ cups of shaving cream (per 4-ounces of glue). You will need to increase the amount of contact lens solution by 1-2 tablespoons (add slowly).
Adult supervision is required when making slime. Contact lens solution contains boric acid and may cause diarrhea if consumed. Make sure hands are washed after playing with slime and never allow your child to put any slime in his or her mouth. Keep contact lens solution and any products containing boric acid out of reach of children.
By Jeannine Cintron, a Staten Island mom of two, who is becoming more of a “Pinterest Parent” than she cares to admit.