Dec 11, 2020

It's Slime Time

Nothing says Happy Holidays like slime. Or poop (Don't laugh! I've done a hot chocolate program with  poop emoji ornaments that was a total hit). Last night on Facebook, we were festive chemists and created four wintry, holiday slimes. Chemistry is all about states of matter, solids, liquids, and gases, and the different ways the things in our world are made and react to various conditions. Slime is fun because it's stretchy, oozy, and gooey. But what's the science behind it? Slime is considered a non-Newtonian fluid: It's neither a solid or a liquid. Think of it this way: Slime does not have it's own shape. If you set slime on a counter, it will spread and ooze out. If you put it in a container, it will change it's shape to fill the container. At the same time, however, you can pick up slime, roll it into a ball, and throw it like it's a solid object. Slime is made up of polymers. When glue reacts with activators such as contact solution, Borax, or Sta-Flo, long chains of repeating molecules are formed. The chains slide past each other to give slime it's signature texture. 

If you missed out on last night's Virtual Slime Lab, the recipes we used are below. You can also check out our Facebook page and watch our Slime Lab from start to finish. All of the holiday slimes use the same basic recipe of Elmer's Clear Glue, water, baking soda, and contact solution. The contact solution I used was Bausch's Saline Solution for Sensitive Eyes from Target, but feel free to use any brand or type you like. Two of the slime recipes are scented so they smell just like gingerbread men and peppermint candy canes. While they smell good, they don't taste good! If kept in an air-tight container, slime can last up to three months. If you leave the slime out, however, it will dry out within a few days. Slime recipes are courtesy of Little Bins for Little Hands and Natural Beach Living

Winter Wonderland Slime
Materials:
5 Oz. Elmer's Clear Glue
1/2 Cup Warm Water
1-2 Drops Blue Food Coloring
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1-2 Tbsp. Contact Solution
1 Tsp. White or Silver Glitter
2 Mixing Bowls
Spoon

In a bowl, mix together glue and water until combined. Add food coloring and glitter and mix well. 

Stir baking soda into the mixture. Slowly add contact solution and mix well. This is the key part! The contact solution is the activator and creates a chemical reaction with the glue. If you add too much of the contact solution or add it too quickly, it will ruin the batch of slime. As you stir, you should start to see the slime pull away from the sides of the bowl or become very stretchy and sticky on the end of your spoon. 

Remove the slime the bowl to knead with your hands. Your slime will be very sticky at first. This is okay! Keep kneading the slime until it is no longer sticky. 

Place Insta-Snow in a separate bowl. Add a small amount of water so the snow will puff up. Add your slime and knead it with the Insta-Snow until the two are combined.

Gingerbread Slime 

Materials:
5 Oz. Elmer's Clear Glue
1/2 Cup Warm Water
2 Drops Red Food Coloring
2 Drops Green Food Coloring
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1-2 Tbsp. Contact Solution
1 Tsp. Gold Glitter
Mixing Bowl
Spoon

In a bowl, mix together glue and water until combined. Add food coloring and glitter and mix well. Because red and green are opposites on the color wheel, they will combine to make a rich brown color just like a gingerbread man. 

Stir baking soda into the mixture. Slowly add contact solution and stir well to combine. You should see the slime start to pull away from the sides of the bowl or become very stretchy and sticky on the end of your spoon.

Remove the slime the bowl to knead with your hands. Your slime will be very sticky at first. This is okay! Keep kneading the slime until it is no longer sticky. 



Peppermint Slime

Materials:
5 Oz. Elmer's Red Liquid Glitter Glue
1/2 Cup Warm Water
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp. Peppermint Extract or 2-3 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
1-2 Tbsp. Contact Solution
Mixing Bowl
Spoon

In a bowl, mix together glue and water until combined. Add peppermint extract and mix well. 

Stir baking soda into the mixture. Slowly add contact solution and stir well to combine. You should see the slime start to pull away from the sides of the bowl or become very stretchy and sticky on the end of your spoon.

Remove the slime the bowl to knead with your hands. Your slime will be very sticky at first. This is okay! Keep kneading the slime until it is no longer sticky. 

Grinch Slime:
Materials:
5 Oz. Elmer's Clear Glue
1/2 Cup Warm Water
2-3 Drops Green Food Coloring
1 Tsp. Red or Gold Glitter
Foam Heart Pieces, Red Beads, or Red Pom Poms
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1-2 Tbsp. Contact Solution
Mixing Bowl
Spoon

In a bowl, mix together glue and water until combined. Add green food coloring and glitter and mix well. Add any pom poms, foam pieces, or beads and mix well. 

Stir baking soda into the mixture. Slowly add contact solution and stir well to combine. You should see the slime start to pull away from the sides of the bowl or become very stretchy and sticky on the end of your spoon.

Remove the slime the bowl to knead with your hands. Your slime will be very sticky at first. This is okay! Keep kneading the slime until it is no longer sticky.