Saturday, July 23, 2016

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Chemistry for Kids: Sparkly Slime Science Experiment

This sparkly slime has all makings of the perfect science project: preschoolers love playing with it and the science behind it is accessible for all ages! It's a science experiment any child will love.

There are lots of slime recipes, but this slime only takes three ingredients to make (glue, borax, and water). Then you can make things fancy with glitter (for sparkles) and food coloring!

Here is my super easy slime recipe. (I'll tell you a little about slime science below!) This recipe makes a big batch of slime...enough for seven kids to each have a handful! And, yes, we had seven kids playing with slime at was awesome!

1- Do not get borax in your mouth (or your kids' mouths). It is toxic. If it gets in someone's mouth, call poison control. Obviously if you can't keep slime out of your kids' mouths and other body parts, you should wait until they're a little older to make this with them! Like everything on this site, this activity is meant to be done with close adult supervision!
2- Borax can irritate skin! You can let children wear gloves or play with the slime in a plastic bag to protect their skin.

Super Easy Slime Recipe:

1- Mix 4 tablespoons of borax in 3 1/2 cups warm water. Stir to help it dissolve, and set this aside.
2- Dump 3 bottles of glue into a bowl. Fill up each empty glue bottle with warm water and pour that in with the glue. Add in your food coloring, glitter, or any other fun fancy accessories, and stir it all very well. Your glue and water should be completely mixed together. Sidenote: in the pictures here, we used about 8-10 drops of "neon" red food coloring. :)

3- Pour the borax mixture into the glue mixture! You can stir with a spoon for a moment, but then you will need to use your hands! Squish, stir, and knead until it is not sticky anymore.

It can now be stretched, torn, slid, and stuck! Have fun!!

A Little Bit of Slime Science:

Glue is made of huge polymers of polyvinyl acetate. They are very long molecules that can slide past each other and pour easily. Borax is a molecule called sodium tetraborate decahydrate (Na2B4O7•10H2O). You mix it with water and the solution has lots of borate ions {B(OH)4-} floating around. When you mix the glue and borax solutions, bonds are formed where borate cross-links huge glue polymers together. The glue can no longer pour easily because its molecules are now a huge mess of tangled polymers. If you let it sit long enough, it will eventually flow (unless you used a MUCH higher ratio of borax and glue), but as you play with it, it behaves more like a solid. 

Now that all can make sense to a 4th grader, but what do we tell our preschoolers? Something more like this...

The borax binds to the glue and makes it thicken up!

As their vocabulary increases and they're ready for more science concepts and words, you can always add to their explanation of slime science!

Do you love science experiments? Be sure to check out my collection of over 175 science experiments and activities!  And this is another one of our popular chemistry for kids science projects

Happy Educating,

I may share at any of these parties!

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