I got slimed

2 Apr

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I know this isn’t exactly a craft activity, but, with being a scientist in real life and the Minimen being boys through and through, some of our activities can sometimes have a slight lean towards science experiment.

I had promised Mr 4 that we could make “flubber” or slime, whatever you want to call it over the Easter long weekend, and in true Mr 4 fashion, I got the never ending  “Can we make slime now?” until I stopped eating Easter eggs and made it with them.

You can easily find a recipe for slime on the internet, the one we chose was from the frugalfunchallenge.blogspot.com.au

What you’ll need

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1. borax- I found mine at the hardware store.

2. PVA glue

3. food dye (optional)

4. warm water

5. Two plastic containers ( I used disposable take-away containers, so that I could just throw out the mess at the end)

Method

1. In one container we mixed 1 cup of glue with 3/4 cup of warm water and enough food dye to make our desired colour ( orange, as this is Mr 4’s favourite colour) and stirred until it was a uniform solution.

2. In another container we mixed 1 1/2 teaspoons of borax with 1/2 cup of warm water and stirred until dissolved

3. With a bit of excited trepidation I then poured the glue solution into the borax solution

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Observations

 Immediately the mixture started to coagulate.

After a few minutes there was some liquid left,  which I tipped off.

The slime was wet and, as you could imagine, slimey to touch but after squeezing and pulling it dried up and was just  lovely  cold slime.

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The interesting thing about slime is that it has two properties that are quite opposite, when handled gently it is pliable and gooey and when handled with more force it breaks. It was this second property the Minimen enjoyed exploring the most as they used it for both a substitute for a punching bag and a ball to kick around the house. And, true to form the slime exploded into smaller pieces of slime when hit with a large amount of force.

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I would like to address safety issues regarding borax and slime.

Although not acutely toxic, sufficient exposure to borax can cause respiratory and skin irritation, so it is best to wear gloves when doing the experiment and don’t allow the kids to touch the raw materials. I chose to follow a Marie Curie approach to science and work without safety equipment…my hands were a little red and stingy for the rest of the afternoon, but  it wasn’t  too bad, and improved after running them under cold water.

Here is the borax MSDS

Now for the slime itself, it is safe to touch and play with as the borate ions are trapped in a polymer with the poly vinyl alchohol (PVA) from the glue and, therefore, are unavailable to cause irritation. I wouldn’t suggest eating it and I did make the Minimen wash their hands after playing with it. Also don’t put the slime or the waste from it down your sink, it WILL clog it.

If you choose to do this fun experiment with your kids, I hope you enjoy it, we certainly did!

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One Response to “I got slimed”

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  1. Fab Finds Friday – 5 Activities for Boys | Misadventures in craft - June 21, 2013

    […]  we have already done this one check it out here […]

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