Has the slime craze reached your house yet, it certainly has in ours! Our eldest has been spending literally hours up in her room mixing and squishing, all our bathroom products have been disappearing in the quest for creating the perfect slime recipe (apparently shampoo and salt is a good combination, who knew?) and her window sill is covered with little dishes of her latest experiments.
So during half term, we thought why not embrace this enthusiasm and dedicate a whole day to slime exploration, we researched a list of recipes to try out and collected the ingredients we thought we would need, it was great fun and squishing oozy slime all day is actually quite relaxing!
The technical bit – what is slime?
We started with the sciency stuff, reading up on what chemical process occurs when you mix ingredients to form a stretchy, not too sticky substance. Slime is a non-Newtonian fluid, this means it’s behaviour (viscosity) can change, if you pull it slowly or hold it in your hand it will stretch but if you pull it quickly it will snap.
You need to main ingredients to make basic slime: polyvinyl alcohol (the main ingredient in PVA glue) and borate ion (commonly found in borax). When you mix the two together, the polyvinyl alcohol is attracted to the borate ion and the two molecules together form lots of long chains, which is what creates the fabulous, slimey substance.
While we’re discussing the ingredients, it’s worth acknowledging that many people aren’t keen on using borax in their slime recipes. Parents have been worried about using chemicals that can potentially burn their children’s skin. The general advice is that borax is a cleaning product and as such is safe to use, however prolonged exposure to many of cleaning products can irritate the skin, so use a little caution. Slime recipes usually need to borax to be diluted anyway so you will only be using a very weak solution and it’s probably a good idea to wash hands after playing with your slime, and never ever eat it. There are some borax free slime recipes out there, we’ve tried many of them and unfortunately they haven’t worked for us, but in our list below we have included a recipe for fairy dough which is completely borax free.
So now we knew what we were trying to create, we were ready to begin!
Types of Slime we tried
Basic Slime recipe
We started the day making a huge batch of our favourite tried and tested slime recipe. This one is easy to mix with few ingredients, and you can expand it by adding colourings and other ingredients which we tried later on.
- 110ml PVA glue (white or clear is fine)
- 240ml of warm water
- Food Coloring
- 2 teaspoons of Borax
- 80ml of hot water
- start by dissolving the borax in a jug with 80ml or hot water, if you want to make lots of slime in the future, you can make larger quantities of this mixture and store in a bottle.
- Next in a large bowl, mix the glue with 240ml of warm water. Add a few drops of colouring at this stage if you want coloured slime.
- Now add just 2 tablespoons of the borax/water solution to your glue mixture. Keep stirring all the time while you do this. You can add more or less borax solution depending how runny you want your slime to be.
- Keep mixing as the slime takes a while to come together, when it’s starting to hold into a ball, you can take it out and kneed on a worktop for a few minutes to get a nice smooth stretchy slime, be patient as it will take some time.
- Now your slime is ready to play with, if you want to keep it afterward, store it in an airtight container so it doesn’t dry out.
Our next experiment was to make fluffy slime, we used the same basic recipe as above, but this time added a few cups of shaving foam to the glue at the beginning. The resulting slime wasn’t greatly different, but was a bit lighter and softer than the original version.
We then took our original batch of slime and used it to make floam, by adding polystyrene beads, this was really fun and make a nice texture to play with. It kind of reminded me of rice crispy treats. The girls were fascinated to discover that when we put the floam in a tub, the beads all floated to the top as the slime sank underneath them.
You can buy floam beads here, we used rainbow ones to make our floam look like sprinkles.
Something a little different next, not strictly slime, but nice if you don’t want to use Borax.
Fairy dough is simple to make with just cornflour and conditioner (buy one that smells nice, we used coconut), just keep adding the ingredients until you are happy with the texture, lots of cornflour with make a dry crumbly dough and more conditioner will make it softer and hold together better.
We added some pink food colouring and glitter for a touch of magic. This dough makes your hands wonderfully soft too.
Taking Slime further
So making slime is all very fun and the kids will play with it for hours but how can you take it further to continue the fun? These are some other experiments we have tried and are on our to do list.
Blowing Slime bubbles
If you have a batch of basic slime, grab a thick smoothie straw and you can use it to blow bubbles, see who can blow the biggest! Remember never to eat slime with borax in it though.
Making a bouncy ball
If you add more of your borax solution to a basic slime recipe, the resulting slime with be much harder and stronger, add enough and you can form the slime into a solid ball, with amazing bounce.
Slime Christmas tree
Mix up a batch of green slime, make a cone shape out of a paper plate and place the slime on the top point, as the slime oozes down you can add sequins and gems for tree decorations.
Colour change slime
If you add thermochromic pigment power to your slime recipe, you will get a slime that changes colour when you heat it up.
See here for instructions
Or add magnetic power to make magnetic slime
Here is a recipe for making edible slime from sweets.
And this youtube video shows you how you can make your own slime eraser.
Slime related Products
If your kids love slime, but you haven’t got the time of inclination to make it yourself, then these are some of the products we have enjoyed playing with that give a similar effect.
If you are interested in buying any of these products, please help support us by clicking on the link.
[amazon_link asins=’B00M2L6BPI’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’mizuam-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’938618ac-5cc9-11e7-8e46-3547b3c5e1da’]
[amazon_link asins=’B015AIH0P4′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’mizuam-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’3846ecc6-5fde-11e7-a186-b796ec430fe4′]
Electric Dough Kit
[amazon_link asins=’B00OLYO016′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’mizuam-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’45f67e73-5fde-11e7-a269-8780216188c0′]
Crazy Aarons Thinking Putty
[amazon_link asins=’B01JS6U1SW’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’mizuam-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’5ae00a2b-5fde-11e7-bf18-739c73eb4ef0′]