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I thought it was well overdue for my preschooler and I to get on the slime band wagon! I’ve been meaning to make slime for so long. I’ve finally found some spare time to give the basic slime recipe a go. And I can’t believe how easy it is!

If you’re like me and haven’t tried slime making with your family yet, then you definitely should it’s great fun! Maybe even a little addictive. I’m already wanting to try all the different versions of slime out.

But I should tell you before you start, we didn’t find it as straight forward as all the videos and posts out there make it look. It took us 5 attempts before it actually worked!

Once we sussed it out, it was so easy from there. But here’s what we learnt not to do:

Here are some tips before you start 

1. Our first fatal mistake was buying the wrong glue ( I didn’t even realise this was possible). I just thought white craft glue was pretty much PVA. Turns out it’s not. So make sure you check that the glue you pick up doesn’t have alcohol in it, otherwise it will separate as soon as you add the water! It is best to use PVA or Elmers glue.

2. This is a science, so getting the ratios right really is important. So get out those measuring cups and spoons.

3. It can take a few minutes for the mixture to come together so just keep stirring. Also if your mixture comes together but there seems to be a lot of liquid left behind, simply pull out the combined mixture and knead it on the bench, it will start to come together.

Basic Slime Recipe – Blue Star Glitter

What you need

1/2 C warm water
1/2 C PVA glue
Glitter
Food colouring
1 medium bowl
A mixing spoon

Borax solution

1/2 C of hot water
1 tsp of Borax powder (we bought ours from Bunnings)

What to do
1. Pour half a cup of PVA glue into your bowl

2. Add half a cup of water to your PVA glue and mix well. Make sure it’s completely combined.

3. Once the PVA and water are mixed well, you can add in a little food colouring and glitter if you wish.

3. In a seperate cup make up the borax solution by combining half a cup of hot water with 1 tsp of borax powder, and stir until most of the borax is dissolved.

4. Add the borax solution to the glue and water mixture, and mix really well for a few minutes. The solution will start to come together.

5. Once the solution is combined, take it out of the bowl and knead lightly on a bench. It might seem very wet at first but keep kneading, you’ll be surprised at the result!

Storing

You can store you slime in a ziplock bag or a sealable plastic container. The slime will keep for at least a few weeks, up to a month. Over time the slime can become sticky, or brittle, and often gets bits of dirt and dust in it. And that’s about the time to whip up another batch and see what else you can create!

The science behind slime – It’s all about the ‘polymers’

Ever wondered how slime works. Well check out this amazing explanation by the good people over at ThoughtCo:

The basic explanation of how slime works is that chemicals are mixed together to form ‘polymers’. The polymers act as a net, with molecules sliding against each other.

  1. Two solutions are combined to make classic slime. One is diluted school glue (PVA glue) or polyvinyl alcohol in water. The other solution is borax (Na2B4O7.10H2O) in water.
  2. Borax dissolves in water into sodium ions, Na+, and tetraborate ions.
  3. The tetraborate ions react with water to produce the OH- ion and boric acid: B4O72-(aq) + 7 H2O <—> 4 H3BO3(aq) + 2 OH-(aq)
  4. Boric acid reacts with water to form borate ions: H3BO3(aq) + 2 H2O <— > B(OH)4-(aq) + H3O+(aq)
  5. Hydrogen bonds form between the borate ion and the OH groups of the polyvinyl alcohol molecules from the glue, linking them together to form a new polymer (slime).

And now you know!

You might also like to check out our Magic Potions article, which is great for this age. And be sure to check out the hundreds of after crafting ideas in our Creative arts and crafts section.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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Joanne

So I tried this as well and despite the careful measurements, we ended up with chunks of jelly! So I just kept adding water, little by little, and squished it in with my hands (and my little one added some glitter glue lol 🙂 and after adding enough, it finally turned into slime consistency! Soooo cool! So I think it’s worth noting, if it’s chunky, add water little by little and squeeze in.

Jarrod Rendle

Thanks for your comment Joanne. Yes, I think you’ve helped to thin it out a little. The other thing we’ve found is that you have to really work it like crazy (and yes, get sticky hands along the way!). And the more you work it, slowly, slowly it comes together. We’ve found the same thing using the far more expensive Elmer’s glue and activator too. Some days we just have to put so much more activator in to bring it together… I think it’s more art than science, making slime! — Alayna

Olivegirl

I wanted to make some slime, never have done before so haven’t got any borax. I searched up slime recipes with pva glue no activator and this came up. I appreciate the fact that Google’s search results aren’t your fault, but the recipe doesn’t say use borax until halfway down. As a result, even though I tried adding salt and flour, my ‘slime’ was pretty much an inedible milk-water.

Jarrod Rendle

Oh gosh, I am sorry for the slime-fail! We’ve only ever made slime with borax or with the activator before, which both work really well. I’m not aware of non-activator slime, although I’m sure it’s possible. But definitely recommend you get some borax and have another go! — Kiwi Families

Jana

ours turned out to watery and we ended up chucking it out 🙁

Jarrod Rendle

Oh, that’s no good! The best thing to do if it doesn’t come together is keep adding activator, bit by bit. You also need to really mix and kneed the mixture like crazy on a table top for it to come together. The more you knock it and kneed it, it will start to activate and ‘slime’ up! — Kiwi Families

naomi

Hi There,
I tried this recipe twice and both times it did not work out. I was extra acreful with the measurements and making sure it was PVA glue that I used. Any suggestions why else it would not work? Thanks

KF

Hi Naomi, it’s definitely a case of trial and error when it comes to slime! This recipe is fairly tried and true though. Did you give it a really good knead to absorb all the water in? How did it turn out, too rubbery, didn’t come together? The main reasons for fails are usually the glue, or using too much borax. If you can source ‘Elmer’s’ glue (I think Warehouse Stationary have it now) it’s said to be the best. But we just use ordinary craft PVA. — Alayna

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