This particular slime is also called Flubber, Gluep, Glurch, or Gak, and it’s made from glue, water, and the tiniest bit of Borax, a mild powdered laundry soap. (NOTE: Borax is soap and it’s toxic, so please use your best judgment if you choose to use this with young children.)

I wasn’t sure how messy this would get and set the whole project up in our big mixing tub. The best part? The ingredients don’t have to be combined exactly in order to get perfect results!

Materials:

  • plastic tub or bin
  • glass bowl
  • glue
  • warm water
  • food coloring (optional)
  • Borax

Instructions

  1. mixing glueSqueeze about 4 ounces of glue into a glass bowl.
  2. Mix in 1 1/2 bottles of warm water. (The recipe calls for 4 ounces of glue and 4 ounces of warm water, but remember: the measurements don't have to be exact and it will still work.)
  3. Add your food coloring, if desired. We added red food coloring and mixed it into a lovely shade of pink.
  4. mixingMix 1 teaspoon of Borax into 1/2 cup of water, and slowly add the solution to the glue mixture.
  5. Stir in the Borax solution until the slime started to come together. We did not use all of the Borax solution.
  6. Knead the Flubber. At first it will be really wet and gooey, then stringy and sloppy, until finally it will hold together.
  7. We stickykept kneading until we had one easy-to-work-with mass of slime that could be pulled apart and manipulated—to some extent, because really, this slime has a mind of its own. My daughter requested a muffin tray with the idea that it would make nice little cakes. It is so viscous and pliable it is! Completely different from play dough, and absolutely inspiring to little Miss Curious. She tried cookie cutters to no avail, but scissors were so much fun and completely rewarding with this medium.

    When you're done using your Gak, you can store it in a sealable container or scissorsZiploc bag for about two weeks (when it may start to smell!).

    To learn more about the benefits of sensory play, visit Sensory Play and Early Child Development.

Rachelle Doorley is an artist and mother of two. She publishes the popular children's creativity blog, TinkerLab.com. She holds a master’s degree in arts education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and lectures on visual literacy at Stanford and the San Jose Museum of Art.

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  • Plantastic

    Another fun idea is to grow a PET TickleMe Plant and watch how the leaves fold and the branches fall down when you Tickle It!!
    http://www.ticklemeplant.com

  • Amber

    These are poor instructions. Making ours based on these did not make the correct final product. The glue and water should be well combined before adding the borax/water.

    • Jessica

      We used these instructions and ours turned out perfectly! It says “mix” which means to combine to form one substance or mass. Thank you to the author for helping us find a fun activity on a snowy day!

  • mmmooommmooommm

    cool now i can make it

  • kalie

    What is the borax for?

    • Eric

      The borax provides the reaction with the glue to make linked polymer chains (aka slime). For example, let’s say the glue is a bucket of chains and a handful of magnets is the borax powder. If you were to pour the chains out of the bucket, it would resemble glue pouring out of a bottle. However, when you add the magnets (borax) to the bucket of chains what will happen?? When you go to pour it out, instead of a stream of chains pouring out, you’d get a clump of chains. I hope that made sense, haha

  • carter

    do I have to use borax

    • Eric

      You do. Borax contains a naturally occurring material: sodium tetraborate. This mineral interacts with the glue to turn it into a solid. You can experiment with other types of powdered laundry detergents to see if the results come out different.

    • Layley

      You can use other recipes such as Tide and glue (and shaving cream if you want fluffy slime) to make slime. You can use glue and eye contact solution too. There are many recipes out there, not just Borax.

      • Dasvon

        …..but keep in mind that Tide contains both borax and citric acid.

    • Ishana

      You can use salt too.

  • steeley

    how much borax?

  • ofamily

    This is fun to make and fun to use! The amounts of the ingredients we used are 1/2 cup of glue,6 tablespoons of cold water, 1/4 cup of hot water(not boiling hot),and 1/2 teaspoon of Borax. You mix the glue and COLD water in one bowl and the borax and HOT water in a different bowl.You can put any color food dye into the glue mixture.Then you add the two mixtures together and TA-DA! You have a fun, new way to make the same thing as Gak but maybe a little easier!

  • PreKteacher

    Borax is not toxic… it comes from Boron which is an element on the periodic table. It is completely harmless and is often used as a detergent for washing babies clothing because of it’s purity. As with any substance not meant as a food product, care should be taken to ensure children do not consume it, but accidental hand to eye, or hand to mouth contact with Borax is not toxic. Luckily it tastes terrible so if a child accidentally tastes it they will stop immediately and want their mouth washed.

  • Prrrr

    We followed the instructions precisely and ended up with a very watery end product. Result was about one cup of water and one teaspoon of actual gak. I’ve made this using other recipes in the past and it turned out great; expected better from pbskids!!

  • Tamara

    Hi – I thought I’d add to the discussion. I have 2 kids who both tried this recipe. My son’s worked great and my daughter’s ended up with tons of water. We tried my daughter’s again and found that timing is everything. My son and my daughter’s second try they continuously stirred everything. My daughter’s first try she paused a few times before stirring (waiting for the spoon, etc). You must continuously stir at the beginning to make it work properly.

  • Megan Michelle Roberts

    I’ve done this same recipe to make slim myself but a friend shared with me a disturbing video of a little girl with 2nd and 3rd degree burns from this please be careful.

    http://abc7.com/family/homemade-slime-gives-girl-3rd-degree-burns/1821133/

    • Olderandwiser

      I’ve seen this story in a number of places but they don’t share how it might have happened. The child was a sleepover so we don’t know who mixed the slime and how much borax was used (I’m guessing way too much)….also the 1 TB borax must be mixed with water-the concentration matters. This is one case in millions though so I would venture there is more at play (no mention of her friend being burned). Why just this child? She made it with her friend. It would seem the burned child’s skin was especially sensitive to perhaps a high concentration or perhaps some weird allergy-the articles never say.

      Millions have made this recipe with no problems.

      • Corey Benton

        Also, she could have been allergic. Borax is essentially soap (primarily laundry detergent)….great for getting stains out of laundry. Instead of causing fear over a common household item, the parents should have been making sure the child wasn’t allergic to the ingredients first. We’ve used this recipe a lot and all has been fine.

  • Olderandwiser

    I just made this with my granddaughter-she loved it and was also thrilled it came from PBS! We’ll make more. Such an easy project. After it was done, we found all her dinosaurs and she was busy for quite a while.

  • Karley elwell

    what is the glue for.

  • Max

    Is this slime sticky?

    • Ishita

      It depends on how much borax you add.

  • ZygardeExtreme Gamer

    yeah

  • Karn Brink

    What sort of glue do we need please ?

  • Laticia Maree Nowell

    ok so maybe I am just dumb.. but if you double this recipe don’t double the borax .. it will become so hard to work with and not be malleable at all .
    I am sad because I ruined a huge batch that I made for my kids

  • Gabe Wells

    This worked great! My six year old son totally loves it. Thanks!

    • Jasmin

      Do you mix it that much that the borax solution is gone? Like it goes into the slime?

  • Adam

    I tried making this with my sister, but for some reason the glue wouldn’t mix with the water and all our tries ended up as huge failures. She was looking forward to it so much and walked off in tears. We might have done it wrong though.

    • Laurie King

      Did you use a glass bowl? I used plastic first and it didn’t do well, but when I used glass, it worked much better

  • John Doll

    Beat the glue and water mixture with a whisk before adding any borax water. Continue whisking as you gradually add the borax water.