3 Ways Kids Can Make Homemade Slime They’ll Actually Play With

DIY Featured GeekMom

Making slime is fun for anyone of just about any age. (And apparently it’s the new hotness for kids, thanks to YouTube.) But if you prefer to make slime rather than pick some up at the toy store, seeing Borax and laundry detergent in the how-to can often derail your plans to mix up your own batch.

Have you tried to make slime with what you have around the house and the result was a disaster that no one could play with? Here are three recipes for slime that don’t require Borax or detergent, using items you probably already have, and so easy that they’re hard to mess up. It’s slime time!


Kids as young as preschoolers can mix this simple slime that’s come to be called “oobleck” after Dr. Seuss’ book of the same name. All you need is cornstarch and water, along with food coloring if desired.

Place the cornstarch in a large bowl and slowly add water until you reach the consistency of slime, not too watery and not too powdery. Add the food coloring and mix well, and your slime is ready to cover your kids’ hands.

You can also use this chance to explain Non-Newtonian fluids to older kids with the help of Steve Spangler Science.

Contact Solution Recipe

Not only is this one of the easiest recipes we’ve tried (and we’ve attempted quite a few), it’s also consistently made quality slime. This recipe is a culmination of experimenting with several similar concoctions and has worked best for my eight-year-old—and she can make it all on her own.

  • 1 bottle of Elmer’s Glue
  • Warm water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Contact solution (with sodium borate in the ingredients)
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Craft stick or spoon for stirring

Pour the entire bottle of glue into a bowl. Fill the glue bottle halfway with warm water, and add it to the bowl. Stir until mixed well.

Next, add the baking soda, and stir well. The mixture should be well-blended and runny. Add the food coloring if desired and stir.

Squeeze the contact solution into the mixture in small amounts, stirring each time. The slime should get immediately sticky. Keep adding contact solution slowly until the slime pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the slime by hand, continuing to add contact solution until the slime reaches the consistency you like.

Edible Slime

The Fun at Home With Kids blog by Asia Citro is all about sensory play with slimes and foams, including some fantastic recipes for you and the kids to try.

If your kids are still young enough that they tend to put everything in their mouth, visit the site for a no-cook edible slime recipe that’s sure to please little ones of all ages. (And be sure to check out Citro’s amazing boredom buster books for families.)

All Photos: Kelly Knox

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20 thoughts on “3 Ways Kids Can Make Homemade Slime They’ll Actually Play With

  1. What role does the baking soda play in the first contact lens slime? It seems to be that cross linkages between borate ions and glue polymers is not the only reason behind the formation of slime, because adding glue to Lens solution doesn’t work for me at all. Does the baking soda somehow help to pull everything together?

  2. Hello, do you know how long this will last? I am wanting to use it in party bags, can I make it a week in advance? Thank you.

    1. Probably up to about a week to 1 and 1/2 weeks. I’d probably make it the night before if you have time!

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