17 Feb



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This week my big boys have “Mid Winter Vacation” from school…  They love to be at home and just play (and Mama loves it too), so we decided to do a few little experiments/projects while they are off…  This one was a huge hit and I assure you they played with it for hours.  If your children are old enough, this is a great lesson on polymers, as well!  I’m planning to make this with my little guys preschool class this afternoon- this might be a little adventurous, but they are rock stars so I know they can do it!

Here’s the scoop:


8oz bottle of Elmer’s Glue

Borax (a powdered soap found in the laundry soap isle)

Large Mixing Bowl


Measuring Cup

Food Coloring




1.  Empty the entire bottle of glue into a mixing bowl.  Fill the empty bottle with warm water and shake.  Pour the glue-water mixture into the mixing bowl and use the spoon to mix it well.

2.  Add one or two drops of food coloring.

3.  Measure 1/2 cup of warm water into the plastic cup and add a teaspoon of Borax powder to the water.  Stir the solution.  Don’t worry if all the powder doesn’t dissolve.  This Borax solution is the secret linking agent that causes the glue Molecules to turn into slime.

4.  While stirring the glue in the mixing bowl, slowly add a little of the Borax solution.  Immediately you’ll feel the long strands of molecules starting to connect.  Now it’s time to use your hands to do the serious mixing.  Keep adding the Borax solution to the glue mixture (don’t stop mixing) until you get a perfect batch of  slime.

5.  When you’re finished playing with your slime, seal it up in a zip-lock bag for safe keeping.


The mixture of glue with Borax and water produces a putty like material called a polymer.  A polymer is a long chain of molecules.  A great example of a polymer is cooking spaghetti.  When a pile of freshly cooked spaghetti comes out of the hot water and into the bowl the strands flow like a liquid from the pot to the bowl.  This is because the spaghetti strands are slippery and slide over one another.  After awhile, the water drains off and the pasta strands start to stick together.  The spaghetti gets a bit rubbery in texture.  Wait a little while longer for all of the water to evaporate and the pile of pasta turns into a solid mass – you can drop it on the floor and watch it bounce.  Many natural and synthetic polymers behave similarly.  If the long molecules slide past each other easily then the substance acts like a liquid because the molecules flow.  If the molecules stick together at a few places along the strand, then the substance behaves like a rubbery solid.  In this recipe, Borax is the compound that hooks the glue molecules together to form the rubbery material and demonstrate some of the properties of a polymer.

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