What do kids love? Getting messy and sticky. What does slime do? You guessed it. And considering the hours we spent playing with silly putty and watching teenagers get slimed on Nickelodeon, guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, eh?
And while you might not love the idea of slime now — particularly if you’re thinking of a certain precious carpet — it’s hard to deny a kid the joy of running amok with some goo. Plus, kids are bound to give you some peace and quiet (well, maybe peace, at least) while they muck around on their own.
So, slime: You can buy the stuff at the store, sure, but it’s way cheaper to DIY, and it won’t even take you that long. We rounded up four fun recipes your kids will have just as much fun helping you make as they will playing with.
1. Borax-based slime
You can easily find Borax powder at your favorite craft store or in the laundry detergent aisle of your grocery store. It not only lets you make your own slime; it offers a fun way to sneak in some science lessons too.
- 2 (5-ounce) paper cups
- Measuring spoons
- Borax powder
- White glue
- Food coloring (optional)
- Fill 1 paper cup with water. Add 1 tablespoon of Borax powder and mix well. Set aside.
- Take the other paper cup and add glue until the cup is filled about an inch high.
- Add 3 tablespoons of water to the glue and stir.
- Add food coloring to the glue concoction in the hue of your choice and mix.
- Take your Borax solution and add 1 tablespoon of the liquid to your glue mixture and combine well.
2. Glowing PVA-based slime
Make your own slime glow with a secret ingredient that will surprise kids when the lights go off.
- Disposable cups
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Polyvinyl alcohol
- Zip-close sandwich bags
- Glow-in-the-dark paint
- Borax powder
- In a disposable cup, mix 3/4 teaspoon of polyvinyl alcohol and 1/2 cup of water to create a PVA solution; set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons of PVA solution to a sandwich bag and mix in 1/8 teaspoon of glow paint. Zip closed and squish around to combine well.
- In a separate bag, combine 3/4 teaspoon of Borax powder with 1/2 cup of warm water, zip closed and mix by squishing until the powder won’t dissolve any further.
- In a new sandwich bag, combine two tablespoons of PVA solution with 2 teaspoons of Borax solution, zip closed and knead with fingers to combine.
- To make your goo glow, hold the bag up to the light, let it charge up, and when the lights go off, watch your DIY slime light up the night.
Next: Moldable slime
A version of this article was originally published in March 2013.