Feb 22, 2013

Homemade Gak {Slimey Science Fun}

Many of the Christmas gifts we gave last year were homemade, and this fun science experiment and texture toy was one of them. The girls and I had a lot of fun making gak for their boy cousins. It is kind of a cross between slime and Silly Putty--not as dry or firm as Silly Putty, but not quite as gooey as slime.  The properties of this stuff make it a lot of fun to play with.  You can shape it, break it off,  pour it, make noises with it...noises that little boys find quite funny. Of course, after my girls had such fun making it, they wanted some of their own.  We made theirs in pink of course.

Dump in (2) 4 oz. bottles of Elmer's glue --I used the regular washable Elmer's school glue. Fill the empty glue bottles with water; swish it around and dump it in with the glue.  Add a few drops of food coloring for a little excitement. The girls loved stirring in the food coloring.

In a measuring cup, add a teaspoon of borax to a 1/2 cup of warm water.  Stir well.  Add the borax water to the glue.   Borax can be found near the laundry and detergent products in most grocery stores.
 At first, you will think you have done something wrong because the mixture will be stringy and watery.  Keep working it.  I ended up using my hands as it seemed to be the easiest way to mix it evenly.
Eventually, the mixture will coagulate.  It can take 5 minutes or so.

 Squish it. Squash it.
 Shape it. 
 Our full product line.  We used empty peanut butter jars to store it.

If you're interested in some of the science and history of the stuff, check out Steve Spangler's Science Experiments.  He has a lot of other fun, simple science experiments that you can try out with your kids!

If you're concerned about the use of Borax in a child's play mix, you can read this well-balanced article on the properties of  borax.  Personally, I don't have a problem with it.

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