How to Make Slime With Glue

iStock
iStock

The well-stocked back-to-school section in most stores means one thing to most kids: The Elmer's glue shortage is officially over!

In 2016, school glue became a hot commodity when the "slime" craze hit classrooms across the U.S. With a simple mixture of glue, water, and a few other ingredients, kids can create a textured blob that's fun to knead, stretch, mold, and shape. Adding glitter, dye, and scented oils allows crafters to customize the sensory stuff to their liking, but that's just the beginning: Other additives can make slime magnetic, glow-in-the-dark, heat-responsive, and more.

But there's more to slime than glitter and eye-popping colors; there's a surprising amount of science behind the stuff. For starters, the substance is a non-Newtonian fluid, a liquid that doesn't conform to "normal" models of viscosity, meaning that its viscosity is affected by not temperature but force or stress. Making slime is a fantastic way for kids to experiment with the way non-Newtonian fluids act.

Then there's the science of how the glue reacts with other ingredients. Glue is a type of polymer, made of long chains of polyvinyl acetate molecules, which slide around and allow the glue to be squeezed out of the bottle. Adding Borax—also known as sodium borate or sodium tetraborate—to the mix results in cross-linking between the glue's protein molecules and the borate ions. The reaction links large molecules together, creating even bigger molecules that prevents them from sliding as easily and creates the slime texture. [PDF]

Though most of the original recipes included Borax, which is primarily used as a cleaning agent, reports quickly surfaced of kids suffering from serious chemical burns after submerging their hands in the substance for too long.

To avoid any mishaps, we've rounded up three of the best basic slime recipes that don't require the use of Borax. Grab the Elmer's while it's still on the shelves, and put a couple of these slime recipes to the test.

CONTACT LENS SOLUTION SLIME

After conducting their own tests to determine a safe way to create slime, Elmer's came up with a concoction that uses contact lens solution.

First, mix together 4 ounces of Elmer's white school glue with a 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder and a 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda. Knead the slime until you get your desired viscosity, adding drops of contact lens solution until you're happy with the result. Add dye, glitter, or other additives as desired.

CORNSTARCH SLIME

For slime that's less ooey-gooey and more fluffy-puffy, try a combination of a 1/2 cup of shampoo and a 1/4 cup of cornstarch. Add 1 tablespoon of water and stir. Mix in 5 more tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time, stirring well after each addition. If your slime is too sticky, knead in more cornstarch until you get it to a dough-like consistency.

SHAVING CREAM SLIME

Using shaving cream will give this version an extra fluffy feel. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with just enough contact lens solution to cover it. Mix until combined. In a separate bowl, fold together a 1/2 cup of glue with a 1/2 cup of shaving cream. If you want colorful slime, add food coloring before folding. Add the baking soda solution and mix until putty-like. Knead the slime for about three minutes, then place in a sealed container. It should be ready to play with in an hour or two. 

12-Year-Old Is Making Bow Ties for Shelter Dogs In Order To Help Them Find Their Forever Homes

GlobalP/iStock via Getty Images
GlobalP/iStock via Getty Images

At 2 years old, New Jersey native Darius Brown was diagnosed with delays in comprehension, speech, and fine motor skills. At 12, he’s already founded a company, spoken to a national news corporation, and sewn hundreds of bow ties.

Brown's company, Beaux and Paws, donates the bow ties he creates to shelters to help animals get adopted, Today reports. The hope is that since dogs and cats sporting bow ties are so unbelievably adorable, people won’t be able to resist taking them home. It combines two of Darius’s passions, fashion and animals, and the idea was years in the making.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Beaux and Paws (@sirdariusbrown) on

When Brown's sister, Dazhai Brown-Shearz, was creating girls’ hair ribbons in cosmetology school, she and their mother Joy Brown decided to involve then-8-year-old Darius in the process, thinking it might help him exercise his fine motor skills and also have a positive impact on other tasks he struggled with, like tying his shoes.

It worked, and it also ignited an enthusiasm for style and design that extended beyond hair ribbons: Brown began sewing festive, vibrant bow ties for himself, which he told Today he wears “literally everywhere.” People started stopping Brown on the street, asking where they could purchase them. Then, when the pre-teen learned about how shelters couldn’t accommodate all the animals displaced by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, he had an idea for how to increase adoptions. Brown sent batches of bow ties to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and has since expanded his shipments to shelters all over the country.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Beaux and Paws (@sirdariusbrown) on

With more than 47,000 Instagram followers and a personal letter of commendation from former President Barack Obama, Beaux and Paws has grown exponentially since its inception, and Darius no longer needs to pay for supplies out of pocket; his GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $11,000. Brown is planning to put some of that money toward a summer trip that will take him to five different states, so that he can deliver his bow ties to shelters and assist with adoption events personally.

“We’re definitely very proud of Darius,” his mom told Today. “He’s overcome a lot and he’s still on his journey of overcoming a lot of things. He just keeps going for what he believes in.”

[h/t Today]

LEGO Built a Life-Sized Astronaut Model to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11

The LEGO Group
The LEGO Group

The LEGO Group is honoring the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in a way that only LEGO can: with a life-sized astronaut model constructed entirely from LEGO blocks.

The 6-foot-3-inch model matches the space suit worn on the Moon by astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin on July 21, 1969, down to the American flag patch on his left shoulder. The front of the helmet even mimics the well-known photo of Aldrin standing on the Moon’s surface, with his helmet reflecting his own shadow and fellow Moon-walker Neil Armstrong in the near distance.

The feat took a team of 10 designers and LEGO Master Builders 300 hours and 30,000 LEGO bricks to complete, and you can see it in person on Washington, D.C.’s National Mall as part of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s Apollo 50 Festival from July 18 to July 20.

Though the astronaut model is already complete, there’s still tons to build—during the festival, you can help Master Builders assemble mosaic backdrops of the Moon and Mars, and you can even lend a hand in the construction of a 20-foot-tall replica of NASA's Space Launch System rocket, the vehicle NASA is developing to potentially use to send humans to Mars in the future.

The LEGO Group is also displaying an 11-foot-tall replica of a rocket at the Ontario Science Centre in Canada from now through September 2. It contains not only an impressive 80,000 bricks, but also built-in lights, sound, and a fog machine to simulate a rocket launch.

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon
Buzz Aldrin walks on the Moon.
NASA, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

It’s all part of a LEGO initiative to inspire a new generation of children to be enthusiastic about—and personally involved in—the future of space exploration. In addition to its brick-based efforts, the company is currently partnering with Scholastic on a program to send 50 kids to NASA Space Camp next year. “We will continue to inspire children to dream about what’s possible and to grow up to pursue STEM careers, said Bettina Inclán, associate administrator for communications at NASA’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Check out LEGO’s space-related collections—featuring Mars exploration, women of NASA, a recreation of the Moon landing, and more—on its online store.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER