Wednesday, 14 February 2018

First adventures in slime (and a UK friendly slime recipe)

I've known about slime for years, pretty much since when I joined Pinterest in about 2012. Back then it was something that was very big in the US and hadn't been heard of here, mainly because one of the key ingredients is borax, which we can't buy here in the UK. Even as people started to come up with borax alternatives and UK recipes I was still quite hesitant, because I wasn't sure that I wanted my children playing around with dangerous chemicals.

Then a couple of weeks ago Harry started going to Science Club after school, and their first activity was making slime using a UK friendly recipe. The borax comes from contact lens solution, and the recipe that he came home with looked pretty safe, so after constant pleading I agreed that I'd let him have a go. I went to the supermarket to get him the contact lens solution and soon found out that the important ingredient, boric acid, isn't in all the cheap own brand solutions. You need to pay more for a branded one and they can be rather expensive. I kept my eyes open, and eventually found a bottle on special offer, so I treated him to some for half term.

The recipe that he started with is very simple. You use a cup or so of PVA glue (something that I have plenty of!), add a pinch or two of bicarbonate of soda, some food colouring and/or glitter, then mix it all together. Squirt in the contact lens solution a bit at a time and keep mixing, adding more until it starts to become stiffer and come away from the edges of the bowl. When it's not too sticky you can take it out and knead it with your fingers until it comes together into slime. It's not nearly as messy as it looks, and although it can be sticky you can remove it quite easily from your fingers.

We've been using gel food colouring which gives the slime a lovely bright colour (also adding a faint coloured tinge to the hands) and we've used glitter glue as well as adding extra glitter. We've also experimented with adding shaving gel and bath foam (not too expensive if you buy from the value ranges!) and he has a long list of things that he wants to buy from Hobbycraft, including clear glue, glow in the dark paint and foam beads.

Turquoise glitter slime

So far he hass made eight or nine batches and still has about half the bottle of contact lens solution left, so it's proved fairly good value for money. And it has kept him happily entertained for several hours, so for me it's worth it, and I'd definitely recommend letting your child have a go if they've not discovered it already!

My slime recipe is very basic, so if you want to step it up a little there are lots of videos on YouTube. Our favourites are by Michelle Twin Mum who has made lots of different varieties and has inspired most of his shopping list. And I really love this blog post by Sarah at Mum of Three World about her daughter the slime businesswoman!

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the mention! Glad he’s enjoying it so much. It does quite addictive with all the different things you can add. My daughter hasn’t had a lot of luck with clear glue and it’s very expensive too. We’ll have to check out Michelle’s videos!!

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    1. We tried clear glue at the weekend and it was very runny, it didn't work as well as the normal white glue, I think he may have added a bit too much extra water!

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  2. WOW that's brilliant. I used to get Specsavers contact lotion free with my contact delivery, I wonder if they that's the correct lotion.

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    1. As long as it has boric acid in then it should work, unfortunately I've found it tends to be in the premium brands rather than the cheaper ones!

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