A Slime for All Seasons
Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? What about Valen-SLIME’s Day? Never heard of it? Probably because it is not a real thing, but at the Hickory Corner Branch Library, we love any excuse to make slime so of course we celebrated Valen-SLIME’s Day! We come up with slime ideas for just about every holiday and season and today I want to share some of our favorites.
The Science of
So what exactly is slime? Slime is the latest craze, but it is also an awesome science experiment, especially if you make it yourself. Slime is considered to be a non-Newtonian fluid, which means that it does not follow Newton’s laws of viscosity because it exhibits properties of both a liquid and a solid. Glue is a polymer, a long chain of molecules that allow it to be poured like a liquid. When an activator (borate ion in the form of borax, liquid starch or contact lens solution) is added, the molecules crosslink, forming strands, and become the stretchy slime that we love.
There are quite a few ways to go about making slime. My favorite slime recipe uses liquid starch, which can be found in the laundry aisle of some grocery stores. Liquid starch always gives consistent results, which is why I prefer it over using Borax. Borax powder is often easier to find though because more stores carry it (again, in the laundry aisle). Because it is a powder, Borax needs to be mixed with water and therein lies the issue – it does not always dissolve thoroughly and this can lead to rubbery slime. I personally like the more oozy slime that liquid starch produces. Slime can also be created using contact lens saline solution and baking soda and if you add foam shaving cream, you get “fluffy” slime! There are many variations, but do not become overwhelmed. The following easy recipes offer three basic ways to make slime and from there, I will suggest some fun ideas for seasonal variations.
Liquid Starch Recipe:
• 1 part glue (white or clear)
• 1 part water
• 1 part liquid starch
Stir the glue and water until mixed. Then add liquid starch and stir to form slime mixture. Pull and stretch with hands to reach desired consistency.
• ½ cup glue
• ½ cup water
• ½ teaspoon borax powder
• ½ cup hot water
Stir the glue and water together in one bowl and the borax powder and hot water in another bowl. Pour the borax mixture into the glue and water mixture and stir to create slime.
Baking Soda & Saline Recipe:
• ½ cup glue
• ½ cup water
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• 1 tablespoon saline solution (sensitive formula containing both sodium borate and boric acid)
Stir together the glue and water. Add baking soda and mix well. Then add saline solution and stir to form slime. *Instead of water, 3-4 cups of foaming shaving cream can be mixed with the glue to make “fluffy” slime.
The variations of slime are endless. You can make different colors, add glitter and other fun things, and even make it magnetic! The following are some of the seasonal variations of slime that we make at the Hickory Corner Branch.
• Candy Cane Slime – This requires making two batches of slime, one red and one white. For the
Snowball Slime – Use white glue and add mini polystyrene foam balls (sometimes sold in dollar stores as “fake snow”). This creates a really neat textured slime.
• “ValenSlime” – Use clear glue and mix in food coloring and fine glitter. Add heart confetti for a festive touch.
Rainbow Slime – Make a batch of slime for each color in the rainbow. You can even use Jello to tint and scent the slime! Simply dissolve 2 tablespoons of powdered Jello mix in ½ cup hot water and then stir in ½ cup clear glue. Once the ingredients are combined, add ½ cup liquid starch and stir until slime forms.
• Cloud Slime or “Fluffy” Slime – This slime uses white glue and the baking soda and saline solution
recipe as its base, but use 3-4 cups of foam shaving cream in place of the water. This will create a soft, fluffy slime. It initially seems really sticky, but as you stretch and knead it, it will become less sticky. If it is still too sticky, simply add more saline solution
• Earth Day Slime – Make two batches of slime, one blue and one green. Let the blue slime settle in a large bowl or on the counter or table and then add pieces of green slime to make the continents.
• Cotton Candy Slime – Tint “fluffy” slime pink or blue and add yummy smelling extracts or
essential oils to make it smell like cotton candy. You can also add hand soap to get a more bubbly texture.
• Glow in the Dark Slime – Add glow-in-the-dark craft paint to your glue and water mixture and your slime will glow!
• Patriotic Slime – Make red, white, and blue slime by using white washable school glue for the white slime and clear glue for the red
and blue (you can also use Elmer’s blue and red glitter glue). Add star confetti to the blue slime to represent the stars on the U.S. flag.
• Magnetic Slime – Add 3-4 tablespoons of black iron oxide powder to glue and stir until combined. Be careful not to inhale the powder. Slowly add liquid starch (or borax and water mixture) until the desired slime consistency is reached. Magnetic slime works best with neodymium magnets which are really strong so exercise caution when using them with young children.
Spider Web Slime – This slime variation uses sodium polyacrylate, which are the super absorbent polymer crystals found in some diapers. You can purchase the crystals from science supply stores or Amazon. Combine 1 tablespoon sodium polyacrylate crystals (either purchased or cut from a clean diaper) and ¾ cup water and wait for all the water to be absorbed. Add ½ cup glue to the expanded crystals and stir to combine. Pour in ½ cup of liquid starch and then stir to form slime. Allow the slime to sit for a while to improve the consistency and then pull and stretch to see “web” patterns.
• Pumpkin Slime – Cut open a pumpkin and loosen the pulp from the sides. Remove some, but not
all, of the pulp and seeds. Mix your slime recipe directly in the pumpkin. Clear glue works best because then you can easily see the pumpkin “guts” in the slime.
• Slime gets better with time so if it does not seem to have come out right or the consistency is not quite what you want, let it sit for a bit.
• If your slime is too sticky, add more activator (liquid starch, borax & water, or saline solution).
• If your slime is too rubbery, add more glue or even try adding lotion to make it more elastic.
• You can blow a bubble with slime! Lay a portion of slime on a flat surface and insert a straw underneath. Hold down all the edges of the slime and blow to form a giant bubble! Just like with bubble gum though, you are going to want to keep hair away from the bubble in case it pops.
• Speaking of hair, use mayonnaise to remove slime from hair or fur. Simply apply the mayo and comb out the slime.
• Use vinegar to remove slime from fabric, upholstery, and carpet or rugs.
• Have fun!!!!
- Chrissy, Hickory Corner Branch