Everyone wants to make slime these days and that’s because it’s just such a cool activity to try! Did you also know that making slime is awesome science too. If you want your kids to get more out of their slime making experience, try turning it into a science experiment and applying a little bit of science method too. See how we set up science experiments with slime and find fun homemade slime recipes too!
SET UP SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS WITH SLIME
Homemade slime is a real treat for the kids, and right now it’s a super popular activity that also happens to be a great science demonstration. We have experimented with our slime recipes over and over again to bring you the best possible activities!
We also have a very cool fizzing slime recipe, watch the video and read the instructions here. Two chemistry demonstrations in one!
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE HOMEMADE SLIME RECIPE
We always like to include a bit of homemade slime science around here. Slime really does make for an excellent chemistry demonstration and kids love it too! Mixtures, substances, polymers, cross linking, states of matter, elasticity, and viscosity are just a few of the science concepts that can be explored with homemade slime!
What’s the science behind the slime? The borate ions in the slime activators (sodium borate, borax powder, or boric acid) mix with the PVA (polyvinyl-acetate) glue and forms this cool stretchy substance. This is called cross linking!
The glue is a polymer and is made up of long, repeating, and identical strands or molecules. These molecules with flow past one another keeping the glue in a liquid state. Until…
When you add the borate ions to the mixture, it starts to connect these long strands together. They begin to tangle and mix until the substance is less like the liquid you started with and thicker and rubberier like slime! Slime is a polymer.
Picture the difference between wet spaghetti and leftover spaghetti the next day. As the slime forms the tangled molecule strands are much like the clump of spaghetti!
Is slime a liquid or solid? We call it a Non-newtonian fluid because it’s a little bit of both!
SLIME FOR NGSS: Did you know that slime aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards? It does and you can use slime making to explore states of matter and its interactions. Check out NGSS 2-PS1-1 for more information!
APPLYING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD TO SLIME SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS
To take your slime making activity from a science demonstration to a science experiment, you will want to apply some of the basic concepts behind the scientific method. You can read more about using the scientific method with young kids here.
Figure out a question you want to answer, do some research, gather the supplies, conduct some experiments, gather data and look at the results, draw your own conclusions and see if you answered your question!
Remember the key to conducting a good science experiment is to only have one variable. For example, we eliminated the water from our recipe to see if slime needs water. We kept the rest of the recipe exactly the same!
SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS WITH SLIME
More sticky…less sticky…more firm…less firm…thicker…looser…
We put together a rough list of ideas for science experiments with slime. If you haven’t tried out the slime recipes already, I recommend that you learn how to make slime first!
DO YOU NEED WATER TO MAKE SLIME?
This was a super fun experiment we tried out and the results were pretty cool. You can read more about the experiment here. We tested three recipes at the same time, but you can start with just one and see what happens. Hint, liquid starch slime without water is no fun, try the borax or saline instead if you are just going to pick one recipe.
ARE ALL WASHABLE GLUES THE SAME?
This is a great opportunity to test the classic Elmer’s Washable School Glue along side Dollar Store/Staples brand glue or Crayola Glue!
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU CHANGE THE AMOUNT OF GLUE?
We also tried out this experiment using our classic liquid starch slime recipe. This is also how we ended up with FLUBBER! Experiment using the normal amount of glue, twice the amount of glue, and half the amount of glue.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU CHANGE THE AMOUNT OF BAKING SODA?
FIBER SLIME EXPERIEMNT
Use our taste safe fiber slime recipe to test your favorite consistency for gooey slime. We went through several batches to see what worked the best.
What’s the best amount of styrofoam beads for homemade floam. This is how we tested our floam and recorded the results as we went along. Or you can compare sizes of styrofoam beads too!
CLEAR GLUE VS. WHITE GLUE
Which glue makes the better slime? Use the same recipe for both and compare/contrast the similarities/differences. Does one recipe work better for either clear or white glue?
DOES COLOR EFFECT THE CONSISTENCY OF SLIME?
Do different colors have an effect on the consistency of the slime. You can use the standard box of colors, red, blue, yellow, and green to see! Make sure to use all the colors with one recipe!
COME UP WITH YOUR OWN EXPERIMENT!
Try out your own slime experiment. However, we do not recommend substituting slime activators without knowing what the chemical reaction will be first.
- explore viscosity
- discover new textures
- learn about non-Newtonian fluids and shear thickening
- explore states of matter: liquids, solids, and gasses
- learn about mixtures and substances and physical properties
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- And so much more!