Big Batch of Silly Putty (or Gak)

Stretch it, bang it, roll it, bounce it - Silly Putty will keep you amused however you play with it. Make your own batch using the recipe given here.

Big Batch of Silly Putty (or Gak) Big Batch of Silly Putty (or Gak)

Project Info

Difficulty Slightly challenging
Duration Under 15 minutes
Age 5+
Submitted by
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Materials

  • 8oz bottle of Elmers Glue-All School Glue (NOT the washable glue)
  • Borax
  • Food Coloring

Instructions

    1. Empty the Elmers Glue into a large bowl
    2. Fill the empty bottle with warm water and shake vigorously. Add to the glue and stir thoroughly.
    3. If desired add food coloring to the mix
    4. Make a solution of Borax by adding a teaspoon of borax powder to 1/2 cup warm water and stirring until the Borax is dissolved.
    5. Slowly add the borax solution to the glue mix, whilst stirring.
    6. As soon as the borax solution is added to the glue, you will feel the solution stiffen. Once all the liquid has been added, pick the slime up in your hands and knead until you have silly putty
    7. Store your Silly Putty in a Zip-Lock bag

    Tips

    1. Bizarrely, the invention of silly putty was an accident. In 1943, Scottish inventor James Wright was working for GE trying to produce a synthetic rubber. He accidentally created the substance that would come to be known as silly putty - a substance that is both gooey and bouncey! The owner of a toy store saw a sample of the substance and immediately saw that it could be a great toy. And that's how it came to be added to plastic eggs and sold for kids to enjoy everywhere.
    2. According to wikipedia: "As of July 2009, twenty thousand eggs of Silly Putty are sold daily. Since 1950, more than 300 million eggs of Silly Putty (approximately 4,500 short tons or 4,100 tonnes) have been sold"
    3. Warning: do not allow children to ingest the silly putty - Borax can be toxic. Always ensure that children wash their hands after handling the silly putty.
    4. Cover work surfaces and clothing - food coloring will stain.
    5. Borax is a powdered laundry detergent and can be found alongside other laundry detergents in the supermarket.
    6. A good website to visit for variations on this project is: a2zhomeschooling.com
    7. Did you know that there's even a wikipedia page on silly putty! Check it out for the interesting story on how silly putty was created - by accident! en.wikipedia.org
    8. If you are making silly putty with a group of kids, you can have each kid make up their own batch in a zip lock bag. Make up a solution of borax by adding 1 tablespoon or borax to 200mm of warm water and stirring thoroughly. Have the children add 2 tablespoons of elmers with 4 tablespoons of water and several drops of food coloring into a ziplock bag. Seal and mix thoroughly. Then add 4 teaspoons of the borax solution to the bag and seal once again. Knead the mix until it forms a semi-solid consistency - then take it out of the bag and play. Kids need to be old enough to measure the ingredients carefully into the bag - otherwise the Silly Putty will not form at the right consistency! For ounger kids have an adult add the ingredients and have the children help mix it up by kneading the bag (carefully).
    9. There are lots of science experiments that you can do with silly putty once you have made it. See the following website for some ideas: www.ehow.com

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    Useful supplies

    Elmer's Glue-All Multi-Purpose Liquid Glue, Extra Strong, 7.625 Ounces, 1 Count
    $3.79 Buy on Amazon
    AmeriColor Beginner Soft Gel Paste Food Color 4 Pack Kit
    $10.00 Buy on Amazon

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