Making goo (also known as slime, gak, or flubber) is a simple process. You only need three ingredients, and this recipe results in a weird, stretchy substance that entertains kids for quite awhile. This is a fun experiment for kids of all ages — I found the recipe at Steve Spangler science. Fall is a great time of year to stock up on one of the principle ingredients: white glue. School supply sales are awesome! Of course, you can buy white glue at the dollar store all year around for the low price of $1, too.
My sons and I made a video tutorial. This project really is easy enough for a four year-old to do (with supervision, of course!)
- 8 oz (1 big bottle or 2 small) White glue, $1
- 1-1/2 cups Water, on hand
- 1 teaspoon Borax, $4 for a box
1. Pour glue into a bowl.
2. Fill glue bottle with warm water and shake to get all the glue out of the bottle. Pour into bowl. Add food coloring if desired.
3. Add 1 teaspoon Borax to 1/2 cup of warm water and stir.
4. Pour Borax-water solution into bowl and mix. Long strings will immediately form. Continue to mix until smooth.
5. Store in a zip-top bag or sealed container.
Borax is the only “weird” ingredient in the list, but it’s easy to find it in the laundry section of your local grocery store. Unfortunately, you probably won’t find it at the dollar store, but you go to the grocery store still, don’t you? You only need a teaspoon of Borax for this recipe, but you can use the rest of the Borax to make your own laundry detergent and DIY dishwashing detergent.
Is Borax Safe?
Some people aren’t sure if Borax is safe for kids. In my research, I have discovered that Borax is generally safe for use in recipes like Goo. Obviously, you don’t want to let your child eat the Borax or the Goo, but “most likely, the skin and respiratory irritation that borax causes is due to the structure of the substance (many sharp edges). Table salt, or sodium chloride, causes irritation by the same method.” Of course, if you are not comfortable with letting your child use a product that includes Borax as an ingredient, you should skip this project. Here’s the MSDS Safety Sheet for Borax.
Steve Spangler says:
Science Smarts starts with proper adult supervision and common sense. Read all the directions before you begin any experiment and if you aren’t sure about something, ask someone who knows!
- Don’t put any chemical near your mouth, eyes, ears, or nose. The incorrect use of chemicals can cause injury and damage to health…
For example, would you consider water to be a safe chemical? Sure it’s safe… it’s water! But try reading the MSDS on water and you might be surprised. “FIRST AID: Call a physician, seek medical attention for further treatment, observation and support after first aid. Inhalation: Remove to fresh air at once. If breathing has stopped give artificial respiration immediately.” Sounds frightening… and it’s just water! If you request an MSDS on any product, make sure you understand what you’re reading before jumping to any conclusions. If you are concerned about a particular chemical contained in the product, seek the professional advice of an expert. Any chemical can pose safety concerns (yes, even water).
The best advice we can give parents, teachers or any adult supervisor is to read and follow the directions carefully. Look for phrases like “non-hazardous” or “not expected to be a health risk”. If you have any questions, pick up the phone and call. Most importantly, if an accident happens, seek help immediately.