Gunk, Slime, and Other Gooey Stuff

by Amy on July 12, 2010

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Besides making our favorite homemade playdough, we had not made any fun sensory concoctions in a long time. It was time to pull out some recipes!

Our most recent gooey creation was Gooey Gunk from The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions. This is a two-solution recipe using Elmer’s glue, borax, water, and food coloring (we used tempera paint). The girls had made this type of concoction numerous times at preschool, but we had never made it at home. The process is pretty cool!

You basically make a solution of equal parts glue and water in one bowl. Add your coloring to the watered-down glue as well. In another bowl, combine the borax with warm water. To make your gooey gunk, pour the glue mixture into the borax solution. You won’t mix this, but rather roll and knead the glue mixture around in the borax solution. Lift out your gooey gunk, knead for a few minutes, and play!

You can find the same basic recipe for Gak, along with a video and scientific explanation at Steve Spangler Science.

Summer is the perfect time for messy, gooey activities – just make your concoctions outside and hose everything off when you’re done! Here’s a few more recipes we’ll be playing with this summer:

Oobleck (cornstarch + water)

Pearly Soda Clay (baking soda, cornstarch, water)

Treasure Stones (flour, used coffee grounds, salt, sand, water)

Metamucil Flubber (metamucil + water) – this one needs grown-up help!

Clean Mud (Ivory soap bar, toilet paper, water) – let your kids use popsicle sticks to “grate” the soap instead of a grater

Do your kids like playing with gunk, slime, putty, and other gooey concoctions? What is your favorite recipe?

Happy playing!


Catherine July 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I made a slime for my kids last week. I got the recipe from my son’s preschool – Lux flakes (1 cup), food colouring and water (2 cups). It starts off bubbly and soapy but the longer you leave it the more sticky and stretchy it gets. I thought it was great.
The trouble was that my son’s weren’t nearly as interested in slime play as I was!

amandab July 12, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Oh! Looks like fun! We did the cornstarch/water thing a few weeks ago, but this looks like more fun! Glad Princess likes goo, I don’t remember getting to play with such things when I was little!

BookishIma July 13, 2010 at 8:28 am

This looks like fun! So far we’ve mostly done cornstarch and water goop (about 1:1 ratio), but I think it’s time to try something new.

Green Mama July 14, 2010 at 5:17 am

Do keep in mind that borax is toxic and use special care using it around little ones. It’s natural, but it is a poison. The MSDS on it recommends that people who handle it use gloves and special care be taken to avoid handling it with broken skin. If you have little ones who still put anything in their mouths, I would not use it. Also be sure kids use proper safety measures and wash their hands before eating or putting their hands to the their mouths. See for more info.

Caroline@LearningParade July 14, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Hi, This looks like great messy fun! Thank you for sharing all these recipes, we will have to give these a try on rainy days! :)

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