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: , , , ,
Make Color Disappear with Science 

Do you need a few ideas on how to combine teaching science and teaching religion for Vacation Bible School? Have you volunteered to teach a religion class and need a bit of inspiration?  I recently gave a presentation to my church mom’s group on how to enhance a children’s bible study using science. You should have seen all of us moms trying out experiments and telling Bible stories. It was a lot of fun. You should also check out this amazing book here for more inspiration.

This one is my absolute favorite and it is so simple to do. All you need are things that you already have in your kitchen.  It is making color disappear to teach that Jesus washes away our sins AND I’m going to let you in on a little trick to give it a great wow factor!

Here’s what you need: 2 clear cups (one labeled “sin” and one labeled with a cross), food coloring, bleach, baking soda, and water

How you do it: 

  • Fill one glass about 3/4 full of water
  • Stir in 1 tsp of baking soda
  • Add food coloring
  • Next pour about 1/4 cup of bleach in the colored water

Check this out:

What is the science?

The oxygen molecules in water (H20) will combine with the oxygen molecules in the bleach (NaClO) causing the food coloring to neutralize and disappear. The trick is by adding baking soda this chemical reaction occurs more quickly making it a perfect demonstration for a group of kids (and moms!)

What is the Bible Lesson?

This is an easy and impressive way to demonstrate 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light as He is the light then we have fellowship with one another and the blood of his son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.”

I have just loved sharing these science bible activities with you. I think you could turn practically any experiment into a great lesson about our Creator. Enjoy this one! Its so much fun!

Categories: 5 minute experiments Tags: , ,
Cotton Ball Science

Are you planning a Vacation Bible School this summer? Have you ever wanted to combine teaching science with teaching religion with your kids?  Then you must check out this book of science activities that illustrate Bible lessons!

I found this gem when I was preparing to give a talk to my church’s moms group. The topic is how to teach your kids about science and God’s creation. And of course I had to plan a talk to include a hands-on experiment!  I think this cotton ball experiment will be perfect to do with a large crowd (and inexpensive!)

So of course I tested it out with my kids and they LOVED it! The object is to see how many cotton balls you can place in a glass of water without it overflowing. The bible verse the book pairs with it is “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20)

Check this out. I just love how her expression changes from skeptical to magical.

What is the science?

Cotton is made of a plant fiber called cellulose. Cellulose under a microscope would look like tiny tubes filled with air. A cotton ball is made up of many tubes of cellulose. A cotton ball itself has a volume that is mostly empty space filled with air. So when you place the cotton ball in the glass it will mostly absorb the water instead of displacing it. Who knew a cotton ball is basically an air ball?

Q: How many cotton balls you can place in a glass of water without it overflowing?

A: We had to stop at 30 because I ran out of cotton balls. How many can you do?

What is the Bible lesson?

The cotton ball is surprising in it’s properties just as God capacity to love us is beyond our imagination.

I hope you enjoy sharing God’s creation with your little scientists!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, lovely conversations Tags: , , ,
The Classic Skittles Experiment 

Is it just me or is it now in style to get back to the classics… classic fashion, classic books, class acts? What makes something classic anyways? For kid’s science I have found that classic experiments are predictable, easy to set up, have a wow factor, and produce a ‘stick-ability’ in the minds of the beholders.

So for Science Friday at Andrew’s preschool I knew this would be a perfect activity to do alongside learning about rainbows. How many preschoolers can say that they know what a rainbow tastes like? Hint: They think it tastes like sugar and honestly I’d like to think if I could taste a real rainbow it would taste a lot like sugar too!

Here’s what you need:

  • Skittles – you can often find a small box of them for $1
  • White paper plates
  • Water

When I am doing science with kids I always look for way to make it easy to clean up. This is probably the #1 reason I don’t do science at home every single day is because I don’t want to make a mess.  But if all I need to do is fold up a paper plate when it is done then I’m all about it.

Here’s how you do it: 

  • Arrange 10 skittles around the small paper plate in a rainbow pattern
  • Pour water in the plate until all the Skittles are touching water
  • That’s it… classic.

What’s the science?

For 3 year olds, we talked about what colors are in a rainbow, what pattern we should make for a rainbow, and guessed about why Skittles dissolve in water.

For older kids, you can ask them to guess if the Skittles will dissolve faster in warm water or hypothesize on why the colors don’t initially mix together. The Skittles will dissolve faster the warmer the water because the warm water molecules are farther apart and able to fit the sugar molecules more quickly to form the solution.   Here is an interesting article about why the colors don’t mix together in M&Ms similar to Skittles. (Sounds like another experiment in the making!)

After Science Friday I had one happy guy. I mean really…candy and science is a classic winning combination every. single. time.

Here’s a fast motion video but the effect will take a few minutes for the colors to join up in the center of the plate.  Enjoy!

Categories: lovely conversations Tags: , , ,