White multi-purpose glue (do not use washable glue)
Food color (to make the polymer other colors besides white)
Borax (laundry aid)
3 – 16 ounce plastic cups for glue solution and borax solution
4 – 3 ounce plastic cups for measuring
Craft sticks for stirring
Plastic teaspoons for measuring
This activity does not require exact measurements. However, for older students, varying the amounts of glue and water to observe the final material's properties can be educational.
Basic Directions (Detailed Directions Below)
In two 16 ounce cups:
Mix 3:1 glue to water; add food coloring, if desired
Mix 2 teaspoons of borax in 1 cup of water
In another 16 ounce cup:
Mix 3:1 glue solution to borax solution
Stir with craft stick. Remove from the cup, knead, bounce, stretch, etc.
Mix the glue solution in a 16 ounce cup by mixing 3:1 glue to water. For an easy way to
do this, mark a 3 ounce cup with a line and use this mark to measure the 3 parts of glue
and the 1 part of water. Add the food color(s) to the glue solution, if desired. Mix the borax solution in another 16 ounce cup by mixing 2 teaspoons of borax and 1
cup of water. At slightly under a 4% solution, the solution becomes saturated.
Therefore, some borax will settle out of solution, but this is fine. Mix the polymer in another 16 ounce cup by mixing 3:1 glue to borax solution. As previously suggested, an easy way to measure these amounts is by marking a line at the same point on 2 different 3 ounce cups and use these cups to measure the glue solution and borax solution. Stir with a craft stick. If the polymer has excess, slimy liquid, add additional glue solution. If the polymer is very sticky, add a small amount of additional borax solution. Remove from the cup, knead, bounce, stretch, etc.
Try different ratios of glue and water and observe the effects. For example, 1:1 glue to water water will yield a polymer that flows easier. See if you can make