If your kids can’t resist slimy, sticky, messy stuff, they are absolutely going to love flubber.
If your kids can’t resist slimy, sticky, messy stuff, they are absolutely going to love flubber. Also known as Silly Putty, flubber is a slimy, malleable substance that will entertain your kids for hours. Plus, it is the ultimate at-home kitchen science experiment.
In addition to being great fun, flubber also has some interesting science behind it.
In technical terms, a polymer is a large molecule composed of repeating structural units. These sub-units are connected by covalent chemical bonds.
In flubber, the Borax starts out as a solid and then combines with the glue and water to create a colloid polymer. Borax hooks the glue’s polymer molecules together to form a putty-like material. As a result, flubber has properties of both a liquid and a solid.
Flubber can stretch without breaking, but you can also easily tear a piece of it off. You can squeeze flubber through your fingers, but it will also bounce like a rubber ball. Flubber will keep its shape if you hit it with a hammer, but you can gently press your hands into it and leave an impression.
Challenge your kids to think of new ways to put flubber to the test!
- This project can get messy, so take the necessary precautions,including covering your work surface and wearing smocks or oldclothes.
- In a large bowl, combine 1½ cups of warm water, 2 cups of whiteglue and drops of food coloring until you reach the desired color.In another smaller container, combine 1 cup of warm water with 3tsp. of Borax. Using separate spoons, mix the ingredients in eachcontainer thoroughly. Pour contents of small container into thelarge container.
- Next comes the best part: your kids get to dig their hands intothe mixture and squeeze everything together. Combine until only atablespoon or so of liquid remains. This process takes at leastfive minutes (or more if you are really having fun with it).
- Flubber will be very sticky at first. Allow the excess liquidto drip off as you work with it. When the flubber is ready, thereal fun begins. Encourage your kids to get creative as theyexplore this fascinating substance-stretch it, roll it, bounceit.
- Store flubber in a covered container for up to three weeks anddon’t forget to remind everyone that flubber is not edible.
- Warm water (about 2½ cups total)
- 2 cups white glue
- 3 tsp. Borax (a non-toxic laundry detergent)
- Food coloring
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 mixing bowls
- Storage container