Learning how to make slime was on my 2018 science to-do list. I decided that St. Patty’s day was the best time to create a Leprechaun slime recipe, one that could delight my girls and also feel a little mischevious as slime isn’t something we handle every day.
If your kids are always inquiring why, and how, check out our science of slime post to learn why slime behaves the way it does! And now…
Let’s learn how to make slime!
The first step in learning how to make slime is to decide what kind of slime to make.
This choice might be made for you depending on what kinds of ingredients you want to let your kids handle. Our first leprechaun slime recipe uses Borax, a detergent that some people use for laundry or dishes. Thus if you have young hands that like to experiment by putting things in their mouths, a different slime recipe that only uses kitchen ingredients (milk, vinegar, and baking soda) would be better. See our note on Borax to learn more.
We are going to learn how to make slime in four different ways. I’ve linked each slime type to their slime recipe below so you can easily navigate to what works best for you.
Types of slime:
- Borax and glue slime (or simple slime)
- Clear gooey slime (or PVA slime)
- Milk-based slime (or glooze)
- Shaving cream slime (or fluffy slime)
- Cornstarch-based slime (or Oobleck)
You can take a quick skim on the ingredients and instructions for each of the types of slime to determine which type best fits your family.
1. Borax-Glue Slime Recipe (or simple slime)
Simple slime isn’t the simplest of our slime recipes (Oobleck wins that prize), but it does pack the most bang for the buck. This slime is nice and thick and perfectly pullable! Using “parts” instead of measurements makes it a bit easier for kids – equal parts lets kids think about the volume they see in the bowl and eyeball it instead of getting bogged down in exact measurements. The nice thing about slime is that it will work great without perfect measurements!
How to make Borax and glue slime:
- Mix equal parts glue and water Add in any coloring or shimmer you want now if you want it to be saturated throughout. If you want a marbled look keep it in reserve.
- Add 1/4 cup of Borax solution (2 teaspoons to 1/2 cup water) and mix and knead until the slime comes together. Toss any excess water and continue to knead your slime until it is no longer sticky/goopy.
- If you want marbled slime you can knead in coloring and shimmer at this point.
- There’s no step three – it’s that easy!
2. Clear Slime recipe (for gooey slime)
This slime is a ton of fun and the only slime to make if you want shimmery slime. It uses clear PVA glue which allows the shimmer to really take effect and not be drown out in a sea of white. You can add color to make precious gem slime, or add iron to make magnetic slime!
How to make clear slime:
- Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/4 cup of water
- Mix in 1/2 cup of clear glue.
- Slowly add in contact solution (must have boric acid as an ingredient). Mix the slime very slowly to reduce the number of air bubbles that get stuck in it. Add the contact solution until the clear slime comes together and can be kneaded by hand.
- Add in color, shimmer, or iron particles if you are making magnetic slime.
3. Milk Slime recipe (Glooze)
This is a slime that I wouldn’t reccomend storing, so make it the day you plan to play with it. I love that this slime has only 3 common household ingredients, but it doesn’t stack up to some of the more robust slimes we have in this series. Perfect for little hands that might be tempted to put things in their mouths.
Milk Slime Ingredients:
Milk (lowfat works best)
Filter (like a coffee filter)
How to make milk slime:
- In a bowl mix 1/2 cup milk with 4 teaspoons of vinegar (or 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon). Mix together and wait for a minute as the milk curdles.
- Drain the solids using a coffee filter or cheese cloth – let the solids dry well, you can even press the milk curdles against the filter.
- Add in 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder and knead the mix into slime! Add in colorings or sparkle as desired!
4. Fluffy Slime recipe
Fluffy slime is a light, airy, version of our Borax-Glue simple slime. When you’ve made this one there will be lots of little air bubbles inside the slime, which can cause a lot of silly popping and farting sounds as kids play with it. It will reduce down to regular borax-glue slime as time goes on, although it will retain the nice smell from the shaving cream.
How to make fluffy slime:
- First, make a borax solution of 2 teaspoons Borax to 1/2 cup of water and set aside.
- In a large bowl fold in equal parts of glue and shaving cream.
- Add in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to make your dough smoother as well as any coloring or sparkle you desire.
- Add in 1 tablespoon of the Borax solution and mix in completely. Then add in one more teaspoon and mix in. Continue to do this until your slime begins to form.
- Once your slime has formed knead it to make it fully come together. You can sprinkle in a bit more Borax solution if it remains too sticky.
5. Cornstarch Slime recipe
Cornstarch slime, or Oobleck, is a much slimier slime. It doesn’t come together in the way that the other slimes do, and thus can’t stretch and knead in the same way. But Oobleck is still a lot of fun to play with. Not only is it super messy, but it is a pressure dependant fluid, which means it gets hard if you tap or hit it!
How to make cornstarch slime:
- Add a bunch of cornstarch into a bowl – measurements aren’t important for this slime.
- Slowly add in water and mix with the cornstarch until the desired consistency.
- That’s it!
St. Patty's Day Themed Science Activities
A note on Borax:
Three of these slimes use borax to pull the slime together (to learn how, check out our science of slime post). Borax has been shown to cause fertility issues in mice when ingested in large quantities. To be specific it was around 5000mg of ingestion per kg of body weight - that would be a grown adult eating 12 ounces of Borax, or a child eating 6 ounces, the equivalent of 36 teaspoons.
The Boraxo MSDS sheet (what we used) gives it a 0 for health, fire, and reactivity, with no personal protection suggested. It does state that it will cause irritation if it is brought into contact with your eyes or ingested. Basically, if you are making a Borax based slime, wash your hands after and don't eat it.
The borax can cause mild skin irritation for those with sensitive skin because it is very alkaline (it has a pH of 9). If that happens, just rub a bit of vinegar on your skin before washing to neutralize the pH.
Given this information, you should make an informed choice on whether or not this type of slime is right for your family.