Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Elmer's Glue and Borax Putty

Things are beginning to look brighter on the health front-so today we had science fun.
I had done this years ago, but didn't remember how, so I headed to my new favorite science site, Steve Spangler Science and found directions for white glue putty.
Below you will find our pictorial, condensed version of the directions.
First, assemble science eager children. Or maybe they where excited because I said we were going to make an "icky, sticky, ooey, gooey, mess!"
Next we needed our ingredients:
8 oz of regular white Elmer's glue
1 tsp of Borax dissolved in about 8 oz of hot water
food coloring

Dump all the glue into a pretty big mixing bowl. Then, fill the empty glue bottles up with hot water and shake. Dump all this glue water into the bowl

Add food coloring if you want too. (This did not get on anyone's hands while playing with the putty.)


(let the youngest begin this process, or everyone will cry because they did not get to go first)

Proceed stirring, being careful to follow with the proper age requirements.

Stir some more, even if it has been stirred enough, because everyone needs a chance.

Now add a tiny bit of the borax that has been disolved in hot water. I told the kids that this was the magic ingredient, and it certainly acted as if it was. Immediately we noticed wonderful changes happening to our mixure. The Steve Spangler site explains what is happening, which my older kids read about. There is a very interesting reaction taking place.
We mixed this in with a spoon, adding more and more borax and water until......

we needed to use our hands. Notice the faces on these exceptionally beautiful children. (They seem to be saying, "YUCK"!

We then drained off a little extra water that was left in the bowl.

And then, this is what we had!!!! Call it slime, or putty, or "Gak". Whatever you call it, it is real fun to get your hands into it.

As a disclaimer, I do need to be forthright, and tell everyone that I wasn't alone with the 4 littlest at this time. Amy-14 was on duty the entire time. Laura-12 and Danny-15 were also both close by for when I yelled for help. Examples of this would be ,"Clean Kim off now!" or "Don't let it get in Luke's hair", and last but not least, "Take off their shirts, I think it get stuck in clothes!"

This entertained us for over an hour. (We then put Luke and Kim down for naps, and then Mark and Grace enjoyed it for over another hour on their own.)

It can ooze like slime, or bounce like a ball, or break into two pieces like, well I don't know exactly like what, but it is very interesting.

Have fun with science!! We do!!


Charlotte (Matilda) said...

This was the perfect activity for a rainy afternoon! Thanks!

Rhonda said...

I giggled the whole time I was reading this blog. What fun! Thanks for link to the Science site.

Mamacita (Mamacita) said...

If you sign up for Steve Spangler's Experiment of the Week, you get great ideas like this one every week, for FREE! We love it here at our house.