A battle of the slime recipes

Let’s be honest, slime is the new fidget spinner. It’s been so popular that making slime has literally impacted Elmer’s glue production! And closer to home, my kids and I can’t pass by an Elmer’s glue bottle or a contact solution display without them singing a slime jingle they’ve heard on TV!

I thought I knew all about slime too. I can’t count how many times I’ve made Gak with Borax and I’ve been super skeptical of making slime with contact solution ever since I heard the nonsense. I was a Borax girl all the way.

Until my curiosity got the best of me and I decided, let’s just do a little contest to see what’s better. I’ll show my kids not to fall for this new fly-by-night contact solution recipe that the commercials where selling them. So I grabbed a bottle of contact solution and a ton of glitter glue and headed home to pull out my years old Borax and set up a little experiment.

Contact Solution Slime: Glime (we had to give it a name!)

I used the Elmer’s glue recipe found here

What you need: 6 oz.Elmer’s glitter glue, Contact solution (containing sodium borate in the ingredients), and baking soda

What you do:

  1. Pour Elmer’s glue in a bowl
  2. Put 1/2 Tbsp baking soda in bowl and mix thoroughly
  3. Put 1-1/4 Tbsp of contact solution in bowl and mix
  4. Knead the slime with your hands and add a squirt of contact solution if too sticky

Well that was too easy! And the results were astounding. Check out the stretch on that slime; we stretched it well over 8 feet at one point!

Slime Recipe using Borax: Gak

Ok, my preconceived contact solution ideas were shattered. But who can mess with a classic? So let’s compare by mixing up a bit of Gak with Borax. We’ve done this classic recipe before here and loved it.

But truth be told, when we used glitter glue the results literally fall apart.  Allie said it sounded ‘squelchy’. Gulp. My Borax argument was also falling apart.

So I would recommend when making Borax slime use plain Elmer’s glue.

What you need: Borax, 6 oz. regular Elmer’s glue, food coloring, and warm water.

What you do:

  1. Empty the glue into a large mixing bowl
  2. Fill the empty glue bottle with warm water, swish it around, and pour the glue-water mixture in the mixing bowl
  3. Mix glue and warm water with a spoon
  4. Add food coloring
  5. In a separate cup, mix a teaspoon of Borax with 1/2 cup of warm water
  6. Slowly pour the Borax and water into the glue mixture and stir with a spoon

How did our maroon slime turn out looking like a stretchy organ? Uck. 

So which slime won? 

There was no comparison really. Glime won hands down. Contact solution for the win.

Why Glime over Gak?

  • Gak can stretch but mostly squishes and breaks
  • Glime is glittery goodness that stretches and stretches and stretches……

What’s the science in slime?

Believe it or not, Borax and contact solution are derived from the same boron compound called sodium borate.  This compound is the linking agent that links the glue molecules together.  The linked glue molecules trap the water (in the solution) to make the amazing slime!

As much as I love my Borax, I think I’ll be reaching for contact solution and glitter glue in the future! What is your favorite slime recipe? I’d love to hear your slime making adventures!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments Tags: , , ,
The Ultimate Science Summer Bucket List

76 days. That is how long our summer vacation will be in my neck of the woods. It is my hope every summer that we can slow down, relax, reconnect, and rediscover the extraordinary in the ordinary.

But I also realize that on the morning of day 7 I’ll be wondering what the heck I’m going to do to entertain my kiddos for the rest of the summer. Then I’ll panic a little.

That is when I’m going to reach for this Ultimate Science Summer Bucket List. I have made this list to help all of us when panic sets in. All you have to say is, “Kids, today we’re going to do science.”

Trust me, they will love:

Trying out a classic experiment:

Having a blast with bubbles:

Enjoying night science:

  • Have a glow stick pool party
  • Go outside at night find the Big Dipper and other constellations
  • Have a night time scavenger hunt with flashlights

Eating food for thought:

Celebrating Fourth of July with science:

Doing science magic tricks:

Making science a game: 

Giving a little science to a friend: 

Reading about science: 

  • Read the Halley Harper Science Girl Extraordinaire series (out June 15) because every kid needs a book about a science hero…

Ok… the last one is a shameless plug, but I am so excited to share the project I’ve been working on over the last year. You’ve been asking for a science book for kids and she’s almost here!  Stay tuned for more updates and information on the first book of this series!

In the meantime, have an amazing summer doing science!

Categories: Summer Bucket List Tags: ,
New Years Science for Kids: Balloon Blow Up

This year I thought it would be fun to have a little bubbly glittery science for the kids to ring in the New Year.  This is a classic experiment with a bit of New Year sparkle to make it more festive.

Here’s what you need: a small water bottle, vinegar, baking soda, a balloon, a sharpie marker, and glitter (optional but hey it makes it fun!)

Here’s what you do:

  • Blow up the balloon slightly and make a ‘2017’ in sharpie marker
  • Place about 2 tablespoons of baking soda in the balloon
  • Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the small water bottle
  • Add a bit of glitter
  • Stretch the balloon over the water bottle opening (don’t shake the baking soda in just yet!)

Now when it’s time you can have the kids countdown before pouring the baking soda out of the balloon and watch their very own 2017 New Years balloon blow up!

What’s the science? Baking soda is the base sodium bicarbonate and when mixed with vinegar creates carbon dioxide. The balloon fills up with carbon dioxide until the reaction is complete.

I hope you and your family have a Happy New Year!!!  I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us all!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments Tags: , , , ,
How to Grow a Pumpkin Inside A Pumpkin

pumpkinpicmonkeyDo you have any leftover little pumpkins from Halloween? Then I’ve got a great project for you and your future botanist! I quickly learned though, there is a right way and wrong way to do this. (As a side note: I am reminded how much comfort nature can give us in today’s world and what a great lesson of hope this is for kids.)

How not to do it:

A few weeks ago we opened up a pumpkin, marveled at all the seeds, packed it full of dirt and started watering it diligently. Curiously, about the same time, Andrew’s preschool sent home pumpkin seeds growing in a cup with dirt.

The seeds in a cup did MUCH better than our seeds sitting in a rotting pumpkin.  We dissected it for good measure and quickly chunked it. Then a good friend of mine showed me a picture of her daughter’s “pumpkin in a pumpkin” for a Daisy Troop project and it was flourishing! So we decided to try again.

How to do it:

We found another pumpkin but this time we scooped out the seeds first, washed them off, and put the seeds back into the pumpkin with soil.  That made all the difference. (And I didn’t voraciously water it). Four days later the seeds started sprouting! Now we have our own pumpkin-in-a-pumpkin!

What’s the science?

It’s been so much fun talking about how seeds turn into plants and the right and wrong way to grow a pumpkin. But the most interesting conversation has been about the mold on the pumpkin and how decomposition of fruits and vegetables occur.


Mold (which is a fungi) helps break down plants into smaller parts into the soil.  We will eventually put the entire pumpkin into our garden and see how it goes. (I’ll post pictures of it’s progress)

Now that you know the right way to do this, have fun with this easy simple pumpkin-in-a-pumpkin project!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments Tags: , ,