Ooey gooey DIY glitter slime is always a hit in my home. There is just something about that texture that excites the senses, and I am always in favor of a simple art project with minimal mess.
As my kids start to get a little older, it is much more difficult to find indoor activities that can keep them focused and interested. Some days I miss the baby days, where a simple piece of tupperware was hours of endless entertainment. And then I flash back to sleepless nights, teething, and diapers, and I quickly change my tune!
I find myself scouring Pinterest in search of art projects that won’t require me to go shopping for expensive items. I always feel like I have hit the jackpot when I already have everything I need in my house, and that is exactly what had me jumping for joy when I came across this recipe.
OK, maybe that is a little dramatic, but I at least gave myself a high five.
When it comes to slime, I am always a little wary of store bought products that have that weird chemical smell. And I assume that anything with that texture is made up of some wild and crazy ingredients that I don’t really want seeping into my kid’s skin.
So, I started doing some research. It turns out that slime is created from the chemical reaction between PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) and Borate under Alkaline PH conditions.
Whew, that is a mouthful. The short story…PVA is nontoxic, but if you are using Borax (or Sodium Borate) for the reaction you must be careful.
PVA is commonly found in glues, however, not all types of glue have PVA. And of course, labels do not usually indicate whether PVA is present or not.
Your safest bet is liquid glue that dries clear. Elmer’s glue is what I typically use, and when you have kids you are sure to have some of this floating around.
Borax is actually banned in certain countries because of its harmful effects on health. There are some great alternatives to Borax, such as air freshener, body wash, and facial cleansers. But not all of these products have Sodium Borate that forms our beloved DIY slime.
Luckily, the most common solution that contains Sodium Borate is buffered/saline contact lens solution.
Bingo! I have never before been thankful for my faulty eyesight.
Less than an hour
Materials You Need
White Elmer’s glue
Buffered/Saline Contact Lens Solution
Bowl for mixing
Spoon or anything plastic for stirring
Contact lens solution is not entirely alkaline which is why I added another ingredient here – dish washing liquid. The contact lens solution alone will not form the slime.
Pour glue into the mixing bowl. If you want more slime, add more glue. I poured about a tablespoon of Elmer’s glue for this project.
Add a half teaspoon of water to dilute the glue. This will make mixing the other ingredients later easier. Mix the glue and water well…you don’t want any lumps in your slime.
Add food color and stir well. A few drops will do. If you add too much food color, some color will transfer to your hands when you play with your slime later.
Then add glitter. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to be careful for glitter spillage. These little shiny specks are a nightmare to clean up…they just never go away.
Add about half a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Mix well.
Gradually add the contact lens solution. Add a few drops, then stir, and then add some more. You will start to see your slime form in just a few seconds.
Add a few more drops of lens solution and stir.
Continue to add solution gradually until the slime appears stretchy and holds a certain shape as you mix.
Once everything in the bowl has come together, you can pick it up and knead it with your hand.
Your slime should be soft and pliable and not stringy.
Don’t be afraid to play around with different shades of food coloring or glitter. My kids love it when I get theatrical and present it as a magic show or a mad scientist experiment. The more over the top I go, the more giggles I get, and possibly a few eye rolls.
I guarantee your kids will be impressed with the outcome of this project. I approach it as a science experiment. It is always great when kids can actually take something away from an activity besides just stained hands and a glitter bomb.
Let’s be serious, they probably won’t remember the lesson on Polyvinyl Acetate and Borate, but they will be over the moon with this science fiction slime ball they can show off to their friends!