23 Recipes for Slime Your Kids Can Make — and Even Sell!
At a Girl Scout retreat last weekend, I watched a middle school girl knead and roll a cerulean ball of pliable, shiny, stretchy … stuff … as she chatted with friends. The other girls at the table couldn't take their eyes off it.
"What slime recipe did you use?"
"Can I touch it?"
At an age where interests lean toward Snapchat and heavy eye makeup, it was refreshing to see the childlike wonder that a plastic bag of slime brought out in these young teens.
That's why the trend of making, Instagramming, and even selling various types of slime in middle schools all over the country warms my heart. It's hands-on. As a non-Newtonian fluid with properties that change with ingredient variations, it's also science-y. It appeals to kids' senses, not just their eyeballs. And since it's made with just a few dollars' worth of household materials, it's frugal fun, too. It can even be a source of spending money for kids who get so good at slime-making that other kids want to buy it. (See also: 13 Businesses Your Tween Can Start)
If your child wants to get in on the slime trend but needs some instructions to get started, here are some winning recipes.
1. Opaque slime
The original slime recipe has been around for a generation. It calls for just three ingredients: school glue, borax, and water. The result is a whitish, flexible putty. Note that slimes containing borax are not edible; the powdery substance can be toxic in large doses.
For extra fun, try molding your slime into a ball and bouncing it. It will lose its bounce gradually, but keeping it moist in a plastic bag will help.
2. Clear slime
This is the same recipe as above, but with clear glue. The difference is striking!
3. Liquid starch slime
Just as borax does, liquid starch can cross-link the polymers in glue, creating that moldable blobbiness that's fun to knead. If you hate mixing powders with your hands, like I do, you might prefer this recipe to the borax version. The resulting slime is the kind that kids can use to make rude noises when moving it in and out of a plastic container. If you don't get it, just ask your tween.
4. Fake snot
Younger kids might enjoy this gross-out snot version more than the middle school set. The recipe includes gelatin, corn syrup, and water.
5. Flavored edible slime
Perhaps disturbingly, the fake snot recipe listed above is an edible slime. To make it more palatable, you can take the same recipe and add flavored extracts or small amounts of fruit juice. (Giving it a different name would probably help, too.)
6. Nickelodeon slime
Gen-Xers will remember the early cable Nickelodeon show You Can't Do That on Television, on which the young actors (including Alanis Morissette) were doused with buckets of gross green gook. This reverse-engineered recipe calls for Jell-O, flour, Johnson's Baby Shampoo, water, and food coloring.
7. Sticky kitchen slime
Dish soap, water, and flour. This is a convenient slime recipe to whip up on a snow day, since you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen. Only make this one if the idea of slime that adheres to your hands doesn't revolt you.
8. Soapy slime
For some good clean fun, mix soap flakes or a microwaved bar of Ivory with water. This slime is ideal for keeping in a large container and running your hands through it, since the consistency can be soupy.
9. Sticky edible slime
10. Cookie cutter slime
Using soluble fiber such as Metamucil, you can make this slime that is easily sliced with a knife or shaped with a cookie cutter without sticking.
11. Bathroom slime
Mix a thick shampoo one-to-one with toothpaste, then freeze to take out the sticky factor. You'll end up with a translucent putty that's easy to make without a trip to the store.
12. Colored slime
To any of the above recipes, add a few drops of food coloring or liquid watercolor paint. If you add green color to the clear slime, it looks like the ectoplasm in Ghostbusters.
13. Glitter slime
Replace the glue in any of the basic recipes with clear glitter glue, or use clear glue and pour in glitter from a jar, and you will have a sparkly slime that's perfect for glam party favors.
14. Galaxy slime
This twist calls for three batches of glitter slime in different colors — using colored glitter glue, food coloring, or acrylic paint. Lay them side by side and twist them together to get a streaky, Milky Way effect.
15. Black light slime
Use diet tonic water in the Metamucil slime recipe, and you've got a goop that glows under a black light.
16. Attraction slime
Mixing iron oxide powder into a classic slime recipe will make goop that is attracted to strong magnets. This one is not safe for really little kids who might put the slime or the magnets in their mouths. Watch out for pets around this one, too.
17. Mood ring slime
Color any slime recipe with thermochromatic pigment, available on Amazon, and you'll get a substance that changes color when you press your palm into it, touch it to a cold drink, or heat it with a hair dryer. This one should drive the middle school kiddos wild.
18. Slime with mix-ins
Once the novelty of kneading a polymer gets old, you can crank up the sensory factor of your slime by adding mix-ins, as if you're working at Cold Stone Creamery. You can pretty much add anything you want: Small toys or "alien eggs" add pleasant textural and visual surprises as you knead.
This is a great way to make holiday-themed slime, such as eyeball slime for Halloween or star-spangled slime for Independence Day.
19. Sandy slime
20. Fluffy slime
Adding shaving cream and foaming soap to typical slime ingredients yields a slime with a lot of air in it, which makes for bubbles to pop and the ability to create pretty swirly shapes.
"Adding shaving cream makes it fluffy, which is something that many middle schoolers like. You can also make it more stretchy by putting in a little bit of lotion, which is also something middle schoolers like," explained a middle school source who agreed to speak with me on the condition of anonymity.
Adding in scented personal care products also create a pleasant feel on the fingers.
21. Homemade "Floam"
Take a standard slime recipe and add polystyrene beads, the kind that fill a bean bag chair. You can buy them at a craft store, or upcycle Styrofoam packaging by crumbling it up. The result is a more moldable slime, sold commercially as Floam.
22. Iceberg slime
Start with fluffy slime. Set it out to dry uncovered for two days to achieve a crunchy crust on the top, for the sheer pleasure of breaking holes in the top and watching — and listening to — the surface crack.
23. Avalanche slime
This project involves combining white slime in a container with colored transparent slime to create a whirled, multicolored effect.
Disclaimer: The links and mentions on this site may be affiliate links. But they do not affect the actual opinions and recommendations of the authors.
Wise Bread is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.