How to Make Slime or Ooze
According to the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary slime is a “smooth, sticky, liquid substance usually considered unpleasant.” Well, not THIS slime. Yes, it’s smooth, sticky and kind of liquidy but there is not an unpleasant thing about it. This is simple for even the littlest tykes and fun for the older ones. PLUS…now this is a serious plus… It can teach your kids lessons about polymer molecules. Let’s recap…sticky…icky…gooey…AND it’s educational.
Are you sold yet? Well if you aren’t, read on. Once you see how easy it is, I guarantee you are going to want to sit down with your kiddos and make some slime…or some ooze…or a little of both.
- 4 oz. of school glue
- 1 tsp. of Borax
- 1 ½ c. of water
- Food coloring
- Two bowls (one small and one large mixing bowl)
Try different kinds of slime with this fun kit.
Before beginning you have to choose what type of slime you’d like to make. You can make an opaque slime that’s similar to the kind on Nickelodeon. Or you can make transparent ooze. You know, like the radioactive ooze that transformed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For an opaque slime, like I’ve shown in my pictures, you will need to purchase regular old white “school glue”. I’m talking the 62 cent bottle of Elmer’s at your local discount store. Making transparent ooze requires clear glue, it is a bit more difficult to find. If you can’t find it at a discount store, any craft store should carry it.
After you pick your type of slime and acquire the materials needed, you’re ready to start. I mentioned in the list of materials that you will need two bowls for this project. The smaller of the two must be able to hold the glue and ½ cup of water. The larger bowl will need to be able to hold all the ingredients.
In the small bowl, mix the glue with ½ cup of water. Add food coloring, if desired. Four to six drops should be enough, but it’s not an exact science. Just know that the color of the glue mixture is going to be the color of the slime. It will only lighten a little bit when complete.
In the large bowl, mix 1 tsp. of Borax and 1 cup warm of water. Stir until the borax is dissolved.
Slowly stir the glue mixture into the bowl with the borax mixture. The second the glue hits the water a chemical reaction will occur and the slimy ooze begins to form. Continue to stir until you can’t really stir any more then dig in with your hands and knead it.
After a few minutes of kneading, you can pull the slime (or ooze) out of the mixing bowl and discard the extra water.
At first the slime is very stringy with strands of the slime going everywhere as it gets pulled out of the bowl. But, as it’s played with the slime becomes like shiny blob of putty.
You can store your slime in a Ziploc bag in the fridge. It will be fun to play with for quite a while.
I know this is slime and it sounds messy, but really it’s not bad. Because it’s a polymer and bound together it really doesn’t go anywhere. It just becomes a blob of slime. The few bits and pieces that may escape while playing with the slime are easily cleaned up.
Just a word of caution, this is not edible. And although your kids may like the prospect of becoming Mutant Ninjas, it’s probably a good idea to have them wash their hands when done playing with their concoction.
The Science behind the Slime
When the glue and the borax combine, a slimy putty is formed called a polymer. Polymers are made up of many molecules strung together in a chain. Basically, a polymer is a large chain of molecules that form one big molecule. Chewing gum, tires, and rubber bands are all forms of polymers. In the case of our slime, the borax molecules link with the polyvinyl acetate molecules in the glue to create a long flexible polymer…the slime.
Although making and playing with the slime or ooze is the fun part, this project can actually become an excellent science experiment if you make multiple batches. And who doesn’t want to make multiple batches of slime? Consider the following as you make (and remake) the slime:
- What happens to the slime if you continually play with it?
- Make another batch of slime and vary the amount of water mixed in with the glue. What happens?
- Come on…you know you want more slime. Go for it, but this time, vary the amount of Borax. What happens?
- Go crazy and try different brands and types of glue. Is each batch of slime the same?
- Even the youngest Einstein’s can experiment with the colors. What happens when you add both yellow and blue food coloring? Red and Blue?