Who doesn’t love to play with slime?! Two weeks ago, we made Peppermint Oobleck. Today, we are going to use a different type of slime recipe for some gooey Christmas fun!
What is slime?
The slime we are going to create today is a substance called a polymer. A polymer is a large molecule formed from lots of smaller molecules. These smaller molecules, called monomers, form a long chain.
Poly = many
Mono = one
Mer = parts
A polymer has many parts, a monomer has one part. Thus, many monomers form a polymer!
Let’s back up... what exactly is a polymer, anyway? A polymer is a large molecule, or macromolecule, that consists of many repeated subunits. Polymers are created by linking smaller monomers into a chain. Think of the monomers as beads, and the polymer as a necklace made by stringing the beads together.
Where do we see polymers in our daily lives?
Polymers appear in many products that you see all the time, such as plastic or rubber. Another common polymer is the DNA in your body! DNA is a chain present in all the cells of your body, and it’s what makes you uniquely different from everyone else!
In our slime recipe, one of the main ingredients is glue. Glue is actually a liquid polymer. The molecules of glue are in separate little strands before you add anything to it. Once you add the special ingredient (laundry starch) to the glue, it acts as a binding agent that links all the little strands together to create a more solid polymer, or in other words... SLIME.
What’s happening when you add liquid starch to glue? Glue is already a polymer, but it isn’t a very strong one. Cross-linking occurs when you add a binding agent to a weak polymer to make it stronger. See the image below. The once weak individual polymer strands are made sturdier because they are cross-linked by the binding agent!
Here’s some photos of our slime in action! (This was Snowman slime made with glitter, but the rest of the recipe is the same)
YOU WILL NEED:
(You can purchase our basic slime kit at:
- Clear liquid school glue
- White liquid school glue
- Liquid laundry starch
- Red food coloring
- Measuring cups
Here’s what to do!
1. Measure 1/4 cup of the clear craft glue and dump it into the mixing bowl.
2. Pour 1/4 cup of water into the mixing bowl and use the spoon to stir the water into the glue until it looks smooth and well-blended. Write down your observations so far. How does adding water to the glue change it? Add about six drops of red food coloring and stir until the color is even.
3. Add 1/4 cup of liquid starch to the mixing bowl and stir it in. How does the consistency of the glue change once you add the starch? Record your observations.
4. Once you stir the starch in, pick up your slime and play with it! What does it feel like? Look like? Is this what you expected to happen?
5. Repeat steps 1-4 with the white craft glue.
6. Once you’ve created the red slime and the white slime, swirl it together for a candy cane look! Have fun!
For more slimy fun, check out our blog from last year: http://www.discoveryexpresskids.com/blog/two-times-the-slime-fun-with-polymers
Cross-linking image created by Dr. Erin Nyren
Photos taken by Maddie Van Beek.