I have wanted to make silly putty with my kids for a while now.
My mother always had silly putty on-hand when we were kids. All three of my brothers had tubes in their ears and back in the 80’s you were advised to put silly putty in the ears of kids with tubes when they would bathe. This would prevent water getting in their ear.
Remember the red egg the putty would come in? My mom always kept it in the fridge- until today I never knew why.
Last weekend I came across what seemed to be a very easy recipe. I knew I wanted to make silly putty with Borax, because I already have that on hand.
I made the first batch of silly putty today, using clear glittery glue. Epic fail.
I searched and searched for another recipe online.
I made a second batch of silly putty using glittery glue following different measurements on another site. Another epic fail.
I knew I needed to research this further. Super frustrating when you have your kids excited to create something.
Here is how we ended up making it.
Third time was a charm. And I now have blue hands.
- 1/4 cup white glue
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Borax
- additional 1/8 cup water in a separate bowl
- food coloring of your choice
I know there is a recipe out there that must work with the clear glitter glue, but I could not find one. So, for this recipe we are going to stick to the white school glue.
Grab some plastic Easter eggs if you want to give this silly putty as gifts for school or church friends. Great idea, hua?
Did you know that silly putty was actually developed in the 1940’s when the government was looking for a way to create synthetic rubber? Pretty cool, right?
While this invention did not work for the purpose the creator intended, it did go on to be a toy, of sorts, that children all over the world would grow to love.
This not only is a great activity for kids to help you create, but the Science behind it is pretty cool and intriguing.
Get started by mixing the 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of glue in a bowl.
Mix until well combined.
Essentially you now have watered down glue.
Add in a few drops of food coloring.
We added blue- I think I did 4 drops.
Stir to combine well.
Add the 1/8 cup of water to a measuring cup (it does not need to be warm or hot, straight from the tap is fine).
Add in the 1 T of Borax.
Stir as the Borax dissolves.
You will notice that all of the Borax does not dissolve and there is some left on the bottom of your measuring cup. This is normal.
Use a clean spoon to kind of ladle 1 tsp at a time, just the water from the Borax/water mixture.
You do NOT want to add the undissolved granules. We are going to ladle the water mixture into the glue mixture one tsp at a time to prevent those granules transferring over into our putty.
AND, you do not want to add too much of the Borax/water mixture or your silly putty will turn to gel mush. I learned this the hard way from my two epic fails and further research.
So when you add the first tsp of Borax/water- stir, stir, stir. You will immediately notice that some of the glue mixture will start to stick together. This is the chemical reaction from the Borax.
Add another tsp of the Borax water and stir some more.
You will notice the glue mixture will lump together even more and get even thicker. Continue to stir.
I ended up adding 3 tsps total of the Borax/water to my glue mixture.
The silly putty was still a bit gooey and slimy- this is normal.
Remove it from the bowl and fold it and knead it like you’re making bread. At first it will be sticky.
You will see within a few seconds of doing this that it will take on the silly putty consistency.
Super easy, fun and educational.
Your kids will love it!
Use the silly putty as something to play with during your homeschool time, encourage kids to be create with it when they are bored, or use it as a gift for friends at church or school.
Do store it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge so it will last longer.