In our series of fun science experiments for kids to try at home, kindly provided by The School of Chemistry at NUI Galway, try this easy-to-make recipe for How to Make Slime!
You will need:
- White liquid glue
- Borax powder
- Food Colouring (optional)
What to do:
- Fill a quarter of a cup with glue and add the same amount of water.
- Stir until mixed.
- Add a few drops of food colouring.
- Put 2 heaped dessertspoons of Borax into another cup and half fill with water.
- All of the powder may not disappear but that’s ok, just mix well.
- Add a few drops of Borax solution to your cup of glue and stir.
- You will see slime starting to form.
- Add Borax solution until all the liquid has turned into slime.
Slime can be stored in a zip lock bag.
How it works:
When you make slime, you are making polymers. The borax is acting as the crosslinking agent or “connector” for the glue (polyvinyl acetate) molecules. Once the glue molecules join together to form even larger molecules called polymers, you get a thickened gel very similar to slime.
All plastics are polymers. Other polymers you might find around your home include nylon, polyester, Teflon and Styrofoam.
Caution: If you do not use food colouring, your slime should wash off most surfaces and out of most washable fabrics. Food colouring will stain your skin for quite a while and may stain clothing permanently, so use care if you create coloured slime. You can use disposable gloves to handle to the slime until it dries a bit.
The School of Chemistry at NUI Galway advise that adult supervision is needed for all experiments. The portions of materials used in the experiments should not be increased from that described and mixtures prepared should not be ingested. The full text should be read before starting any experiment.
Have you made slime at home before? How did it go? Tell us about it in the comments below.