How to Make Slime With Glue

iStock
iStock

The well-stocked back-to-school section in most stores means one thing to most kids: The Elmer's glue shortage is officially over!

In 2016, school glue became a hot commodity when the "slime" craze hit classrooms across the U.S. With a simple mixture of glue, water, and a few other ingredients, kids can create a textured blob that's fun to knead, stretch, mold, and shape. Adding glitter, dye, and scented oils allows crafters to customize the sensory stuff to their liking, but that's just the beginning: Other additives can make slime magnetic, glow-in-the-dark, heat-responsive, and more.

But there's more to slime than glitter and eye-popping colors; there's a surprising amount of science behind the stuff. For starters, the substance is a non-Newtonian fluid, a liquid that doesn't conform to "normal" models of viscosity, meaning that its viscosity is affected by not temperature but force or stress. Making slime is a fantastic way for kids to experiment with the way non-Newtonian fluids act.

Then there's the science of how the glue reacts with other ingredients. Glue is a type of polymer, made of long chains of polyvinyl acetate molecules, which slide around and allow the glue to be squeezed out of the bottle. Adding Borax—also known as sodium borate or sodium tetraborate—to the mix results in cross-linking between the glue's protein molecules and the borate ions. The reaction links large molecules together, creating even bigger molecules that prevents them from sliding as easily and creates the slime texture. [PDF]

Though most of the original recipes included Borax, which is primarily used as a cleaning agent, reports quickly surfaced of kids suffering from serious chemical burns after submerging their hands in the substance for too long.

To avoid any mishaps, we've rounded up three of the best basic slime recipes that don't require the use of Borax. Grab the Elmer's while it's still on the shelves, and put a couple of these slime recipes to the test.

CONTACT LENS SOLUTION SLIME

After conducting their own tests to determine a safe way to create slime, Elmer's came up with a concoction that uses contact lens solution.

First, mix together 4 ounces of Elmer's white school glue with a 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder and a 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda. Knead the slime until you get your desired viscosity, adding drops of contact lens solution until you're happy with the result. Add dye, glitter, or other additives as desired.

CORNSTARCH SLIME

For slime that's less ooey-gooey and more fluffy-puffy, try a combination of a 1/2 cup of shampoo and a 1/4 cup of cornstarch. Add 1 tablespoon of water and stir. Mix in 5 more tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time, stirring well after each addition. If your slime is too sticky, knead in more cornstarch until you get it to a dough-like consistency.

SHAVING CREAM SLIME

Using shaving cream will give this version an extra fluffy feel. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with just enough contact lens solution to cover it. Mix until combined. In a separate bowl, fold together a 1/2 cup of glue with a 1/2 cup of shaving cream. If you want colorful slime, add food coloring before folding. Add the baking soda solution and mix until putty-like. Knead the slime for about three minutes, then place in a sealed container. It should be ready to play with in an hour or two. 

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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LEGO and IKEA Have Designed a New Line of Storage Boxes With the Help of Child Psychologists

IKEA
IKEA

Putting together IKEA furniture can remind grownups of their days playing with LEGO bricks. The two brands serve very different demographics, and now they've joined forces to create these ready-to-assemble products designed to appeal to both kids and adults.

As ThomasNet reports, BYGGLEK (Swedish for “to build and play") puts IKEA's practical, minimalist spin on the traditional LEGO toy. The key is a plastic storage bin featuring LEGO-compatible studs on its interior and exterior. Instead of using the floor as their play place and making rooms minefields for barefooted parents, kids can contain their creations within the box. When playtime is over, adults simply pick up the box holding the LEGO masterpiece and move it out of the way. The BYGGLEK boxes come in clean, neutral tones, so parents can show off their kids' handiwork on a canvas that fits the style of their home.

Opportunities for artistic expression for children often lead to headaches for the grownups who clean up after them. In order to make play a more organized experience without inhibiting creativity, LEGO and IKEA collaborated with child psychologists. The resulting product is a win for everyone: It allows parents to organize messes without deconstructing their child's work-in-progress.

IKEA and LEGO's BYGGLEK collection includes four products: A large box, a medium box, a set of three small boxes, and a basic 201-piece LEGO set for kids 5 and up. Prices range from $10 to $15; you can order yours today from IKEA.

[h/t ThomasNet]