Have your kids caught slime fever yet? Not only is slime fun to play with, but making slime is a fun way to introduce polymers and viscosity to kids.
This week we decided to try mixing one of our favorite sensory play items, water beads, with the awesomeness that is homemade slime. The squishy water beads add a fun new texture in this water bead slime recipe.
While homemade slime is tons of fun to make, it is not recommended for kids under 3, and especially kids that still put objects in their mouth. This is especially true when adding water beads to the slime. If young children are in the house I advise playing with the slime in a high-sided container to keep the water beads from bouncing everywhere and posing a choking hazard to younger siblings.
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- Elmer’s Washable School Glue
- Liquid Starch
- Warm Water
- Rainbow Colored Water Beads
- Food Coloring (optional)
Start by hydrating your water beads, following the directions on the package. We used some of the beads we had ready for our Hidden Treasure Math Facts activity.
Once the water beads are hydrated, it’s time to mix up your slime.
In a small bowl, mix 4 oz. (118 ml.) of glue with 4 oz. of warm water. This is a great opportunity for older kids to work on measuring skills.
When the glue and water are thoroughly mixed, stir in 4 oz. of liquid starch. Be sure to shake your liquid starch up ahead of time!
Continue stirring until the mixture starts to pull away from the bowl.
As the mixture thickens it is a great opportunity to introduce viscosity to kids. The glue is a polymer (a large chain of molecules allows it to be poured). When it mixes with the liquid starch the chain of molecules changes, causing it to become more viscous. It also gives the slime that stretchiness that makes it so fun to play with.
If desired, add a few drops of food coloring. We chose green for St. Patrick’s Day. Stir until the coloring is fairly consistent, and then it will be time to use your hands.
If your slime is still too sticky, add a small amount of liquid starch (a tablespoon at a time).
Then add your water beads, folding them in and mixing with your hands.
The slippery and squishy water beads add a new texture to the slime.
As we played with our water bead slime, we noticed that unlike our googly eye slime, the water beads don’t actually stay in the slime. They do eventually work their way out of the slime as it stretches. However, it is still a fun sensory experience and amazing to play with.
So, how do you play with slime? My daughter could play with slime all day. She loves stretching it, squishing it, and feeling it as it covers her hands.
My son prefers to use small toys, like miniature dinosaurs, to play in the slime. Pushing the toys into the slime and feeling the suction of it against the toys as you pull them out is a great sensory experience for kids that don’t like to touch the slime itself.
Homemade slime is a fun sensory experience with a science twist. However your child chooses to play with it, this water bead slime is sure to be a favorite.
Check out these other fun homemade slime recipes:
- Water Bead Slime — I love how the clear glue looks with the water beads in this version from I Can Teach My Child.
- Googly Eye Liquid Starch Slime — Everything is better with googly eyes, even slime!
- Sparkly Glitter Glue Slime — I love how bright and sparkly this slime is.
- Lego Slime — The perfect slime for Lego fans, from Lemon Lime Adventures.