As a child of the 80s, slime ranks pretty high in my archive of childhood memories. It was the stuff that made Ghostbusters awesome, and many of my childhood dreams involved running through an obstacle course getting covered with the stuff. Yet somehow the slime of the new millennium is even cooler. Even better that you can make it in the comfort of your own home with a few simple ingredients. Check out more cool boredom busters and crafts to do with kids.
Your basic slime kit might include the following materials: white school glue, clear glue gel borax, shaving cream, saline solution, re-sealable plastic bags and/or containers, plastic spoons, and bowls. There has been a lot said recently on social media about the potential dangers of toxic ingredients in some slime recipes; borax-free options are available for anyone concerned about that particular ingredient. As always, take note of your own children's allergies, and please supervise children when using these materials to ensure everyone’s safety.
Add a little food coloring to make colored slime
I found that if you have a basic understanding of how these ingredients work together to make slime, you will be able to create some pretty cool concoctions (not to mention, sound smart to your kids!). In these recipes, the glue acts like a polymer. When borax is mixed with water, it forms an ion called borate ion. Similarly, you can make borax-free slime with contact lens solution—just make sure the ingredients list either boric acid or sodium borate and you are good to go. It’s only when you mix these two solutions together that the borate ions help link the polymer molecules so they cannot flow as easily, which is how glue becomes slime!
My daughter loves making slime and we have several favorite mom-tested, kid-approved slime recipes.
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Measure out 1/4 C of White Glue
In one of the bowls, mix ¼ cup of water and ¼ cup of white school glue. If you would like colored slime, add a few drops of food coloring to the solution.
In another bowl, mix ½ tbs Borax with ½ a cup of water and stir until the borax has dissolved.
Add the borax solution to the glue solution and mix. You can also pour the solutions into a re-sealable plastic bag and mix.
A slime-like texture should begin to form immediately. Continue to stir and knead until you get the consistency you want.
Remove your slime from the bowl (or bag) and enjoy.
For glow in the dark slime, simply add glow-in-the-dark paint to the glue solution of the Basic Slime Recipe.
We used transparent glue gel, to create this “sparkle slime” (as my daughter likes to call it). In the Basic Slime Recipe, use clear glue gel instead of white glue and add glitter. The resulting slime is a fun way to play with glitter, without leaving a trail of sparkles around your home.
Add pony beads to create new tactile sensations
Found Objects Slime
We added a few pony beads to our re-sealable plastic bag before mixing. This is actually one of my daughter’s favorite slimes to play with. Searching for the beads in the otherwise silky slime is very tactilely satisfying. You can even add different sorts of objects and make “Eye Spy” slime!
Mix shaving cream and white glue to create fluffy slime
Fluffy Borax Free Slime
Pour about ¼ cup of white glue into a bowl. Add about ½ cup of shaving cream by squirting it into the bowl. With a wooden spoon, mix these two ingredients together until you feel like there isn’t any glue left (you can keep squirting small amounts of shaving cream into the bowl to achieve this consistency). Start adding small amounts of contact lens solution to this mixture. Since the contact lens solution is the “slime activator,” you can keep adding it until you have fluffy slime.
These recipes are meant to provide a good base to get your creative slime juices flowing. If your slime is too runny or too stiff, try adding little bits of contact lens solution or borax solution to it at a time. The only way to make a thicker or runnier slime is to add more or less borax solution. If you simply add water, you will just end up with a gluey mess.
All photos by the author.