Summer here in the good old Lone Star State has three levels: hot, hotter, and OMG I’M DYING. If we’re not in the water, we’re locked indoors, lights off, fans and AC going, and my kids are usually not clothed.
So since we don’t spent a lot of time outside in the summer, we need lots and lots of indoor activities. Or TV. But I prefer activities. I had a whole “summer to do list” this year, but we blew through it pretty quickly. Things like coloring and painting pretty pictures get old quick, and I despise play doh, so we needed something new and exciting.
Just when I thought we had exhausted all of our craft possibilities, I remembered Gak, also known as slime, or silly putty, Gak is a fun and very simple activity to get your kids involved in, and it’s educational to boot, if “teaching” is your thing. And the best part for my brood? It’s super quick to make, and then they can play with it for hours on end.
I didn’t invent this craft and can’t take credit for it, but here’s the recipe I found after seeing this stuff in my girls’ preschool classroom last year.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 8 oz bottle of school glue — The ones I found were just under 8 oz. No biggie. And Right now they are super cheap at my grocery store — like $1.50. Buy several!
- Food coloring
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon Borax (also very inexpensive in your grocery store laundry section)
The ridiculously easy steps:
- Empty the glue bottle into a medium sized bowl.
- Fill the empty glue bottle up with warm water, replace the cap, and shake shake shake! This is fun for the kiddos.
- Discourage glue tasting.
- Pour water from the glue bottle into the bowl and mix with a spoon.
- Add a few drops of food coloring and stir. This is one of the fun parts. A little goes a long way, and the more drops you add, the more vibrant your Gak. Our pink slime was made with about 4 drops. But don’t bother counting. Let the kids have fun adding and mixing the color.
- In a separate small bowl or cup, combine the teaspoon of Borax with the 1/2 cup warm water and stir well. It doesn’t have to be all dissolved. The borax is the special bonding agent that helps the glue molecules turn into slime (and I’m not even a science teacher!)
- Now for the really fun part — slowly add the Borax/water mixture to the glue mixture, stirring well. Watch as the liquid slowly starts to bond together and form a solid mass! Once it’s a slimy ball, I like to get my hands in there and mix it up some more until all of the liquid is absorbed. Have your kids touch it and squeal at how slimy it is! It kinda feels like internal organs. Well, I actually don’t know what internal organs feel like, but this would be my guess.
Now that you have your slime, you can pull it, stretch it, stamp it, make animal tracks in it…the sky’s the limit.
My kids like to get their dinosaurs out, make dino tracks, and bury the dinosaurs in the slime. It’s also fun to watch a ball of slime slowly melt and fill in a play doh cut out. But my kids don’t really have enough patience for that, so that one’s really just for me. I’m easily entertained, what can I say?
Oh, and, uh, here’s a pro tip. You may want to sweep or even mop your floor before slime play. Just sayin. But if you don’t, and you maybe end up tossing pieces left and right into the trash because they have collected insane amounts of cat hair, dog hair, and goldfish crumbs, don’t sweat it. You can whip up another batch of slime in no time for pennies!
And don’t even think about going near carpet with this stuff.