Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Concoctions for Play: Slime

Recipe 1

The recipe for this slime is easy enough.
Equal amounts of Elmer's clear glue and Liquid Laundry Starch
Add food coloring as desired.
We poured the bottle of glue into a plastic cup to measure it. We marked a line on the cup at top most point of the glue. Then we added that same amount of liquid starch.
Mix together with your hands.
It gets more solidified as you mix it.

Recipe 2, with glitter variation

Or, you can use this recipe.
1 teaspoon Borax powder
1 1/2 cups. water, divided
4 oz. (or 1/2 cup) Elmer's clear glue
food coloring

Fill a small bowl with 1 cup of water and add 1 teaspoon of Borax powder. Mix until the Borax is dissolved and set aside. Pour glue into a medium mixing bowl and add 1/2 cup of water. Add four-eight drops of food coloring to the glue mixture. Stir it up a bit. We added some glitter just for fun, but this is not necessary. Now add the Borax mixture to the glue mixture and watch it begin to solidify. Stick your hands in and and start mixing it all up. Pour out the excess water and knead the mixture until it becomes more firm and dry. When you're done playing with it, store in a Ziplock bag or other air tight container. We used 2 oz. Multi-purpose mini cups I bought at Wal-mart.

Cross-linking Polymers

The science behind all of these type concoctions is that they are polymers. Polymers have long chains of molecules that can slide past each other until some of the molecules come in contact with molecules that stick together at a few places along the strand. Starches are responsible for hooking the glue’s molecules together to form the putty-like material. You will see variations on this recipe, which make the concoction slightly different, but they all work on this same scientific principle.
I reminded them of what they had learned about polymers (long chains of molecules hooked together), and illustrated what had just happened in the experiment by using 3 chains of paper clips laying side by side.
I showed them that the paper clip strands slide by each other easily, and this is how the glue alone acts. I then hooked two from one chain to two from another chain, making cross-links.
I showed them how the chains cannot easily slide back in forth now, illustrating the changes that occur when the laundry starch is added to the glue.

originally posted: Jun 3, 2013


  1. I like the paper clip object lesson!

  2. This is amazing! Fun and educational. I'd love it if you'd share this at the After School Linky Party on my blog!

  3. Anonymous4.6.13

    I love your explanation using the paper clips. Really, really good. I shall be stealing that! It makes the polymers so visual and therefore easy to understand. Brilliant Phyllis!!

  4. I love the paper clips to explain this, what a great way to connect this to the actual science of it!


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