Time for Slime! Why Kids Love Slime (and How To Make Some!)

Even kids who don’t know how to make oatmeal know how to mix up a batch of slime. It’s a sensation with elementary schoolers and tweens, it’s found in most kids’ YouTube search histories, and it’s messed up kitchens all around the world! If you somehow have never encountered this craze, here’s your primer on slime: it’s a mysterious, goopy mixture of glue, borax, and other fun ingredients. Past generations  had Silly Putty, Floam, and Flubber. Today’s kids have homemade slime!

Our October issue of ASK Magazine was all about slime in its many forms! Readers Ryan and Luke sent us this video of their experience trying our slime recipe. If your kids are interested in making slime the ASK way, read the instructions below or download and print the recipe here!

What you’ll need:

  •  Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • ¼ cup school glue (white or clear)
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • Food color (a few drops)
  • 2-3 tablespoons borax mixture.

To make borax mixture:

Version 1: Mix

  • 1 tablespoon borax
  • ½ cup warm water
  • Stir until well-dissolved.

Version 2: Mix

  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of eyewash that contains boric acid and sodium borate (check ingredients)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

What to do:

  1. Mix the glue and water until smooth
  2. Add food coloring until it’s the shade you want
  3. Stir in a few drops of the borax mixture. Add a few drops at a time until it starts to thicken. The more borax you add, the thicker the slime will get. Knead with your hands. Eeeew!

What’s happening?

There’s a kind of plastic found in school glue called polyvinyl acetate. Borax grabs onto the bits of plastic in the glue and strings them together in long chains. These chains tangle up into a net that traps water, making slime!

Take your slime to the next level!

Mastered the art of the basic slime? Become a true slime master with these special tips!

  • To make fluffy slime, add in 2 or 3 cups of shaving cream before you put in the borax mixture. The tiny air bubbles in shaving cream makes a puffy slime that’s more like putty than ooze.
  • For sparkly slime, use clear school glue and add a few spoonfuls of glitter to the glue and water– or use glitter glue!
  • Add glow-in-the-dark glue or one teaspoon of paint powder for amazing glow glue!

So why do kids love slime so much?

Remember when fidget spinners were all the rage a few years ago? Part of slime’s appeal is the same tactile experience and stress relief. But where fidget spinners don’t do anything but, well, spin, slime is a more open-ended toy. There are so many different satisfying ways to squish it, poke it, or stretch it. In an age of screens and structured activities, slime is a refreshing novelty. Even better, kids can create slime all by themselves. They can take pride in their own creations and experiment with cool ways to personalize it, and every batch of slime is different from the last.

Parents might roll their eyes at their children’s obsession with the sticky stuff, but a passion for slime can easily turn into a love of science. By watching separate ingredients combine into a new substance, young kids can see firsthand what a chemical process looks like. Older kids can learn about polymers or concepts like ‘viscosity.’ One batch of sparkly slime might be the first step to a future as a scientist!