Slime and Oobleck – Take Home the Science 2019

One important aspect of science is learning the vocabulary.  Slime and Oobleck are examples of Non-Newtonian Fluids. That is a fancy name for a substance that seems to be a solid at times, yet can also act like a liquid.  Slime does not have its own shape.

The key ingredient in Slime is an activator from the boron family.  This makes Borax a great ingredient for Slime. However, if not used properly it can cause skin problems for some people.  Therefore, we recommend using contact lens solution which has boric acid that will become the activator in the Slime recipe below.

Cross linking is what happens when the glue and activator are combined!  Slime is all about polymers! A polymer is made up of very large chains of molecules. The glue used in Slime is made up of long chains of polyvinyl acetate molecules (Elmer’s products are an example of PVA glue). These polymer chains slide past one another fairly easily which keeps the glue flowing.  However, as the activator is added the molecules become tangled. This slows the movement, and it begins to act like a solid. Slime is formed having a whole new set of solid and liquid properties in one substance.


Slime: The No Borax  Formula – An alternative . . . maybe??

  • Elmer’s Glue (Clear or White): 4 oz  aka any PVA type glue
  • Baking Soda:  ½ tsp
  • Food Coloring: optional 1-5  drops (more drops = darker color) 
  • Glitter: optional (requires a lot of glitter to make the SLIME sparkle)
  • Contact Lens Solution: 1 ⅛  to 1¼ tsp or (.2 oz) *** Borax version (also safe-see below)
  • Baby Oil: A few drops or small squirt (helps to avoid too much stick to the fingers) 
  • The truth about Borax- a science view:

Oobleck: Cornstarch and Water

  • Cornstarch: 1 cup
  • Water: ½ cup

Videos and Notes:

  • Borax based Slime:    1 teaspoon of Activator Solution (4% Sodium Tetraborate Solution / Borax)
  • Activator Solution recipe:  1/4 teaspoon Borax and 1/3 cup water

Elephant Toothpaste

  • A clean 16 ounce plastic bottle
  • 1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid (20-volume is a 6% solution, ask an adult to get this from a beauty supply store or hair salon)
  • 1 Tablespoon (one packet) of dry yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons of warm water
  • Liquid dish washing soap
  • Food coloring
  • Small cup
  • Safety goggles