Did you know you could make your own Bouncy Ball. Yeah.. Thats right! This is a simple science experiment kids (depending on their age) could do with little to no help. It does not bounce really high like the store bought ones. But it does bounce over a foot high. It bounces well on carpet rather than kitchen tiles & bounces really well on the wall. It has a unique texture that your kids will enjoy playing with. The recipe uses borax and as you know its not edible, this might not be appropriate for toddlers who still put things in their mouth. I enjoyed making this and my LOs enjoyed playing with it. 😀
What you need
- 2 disposable bowls/cups (for mixing)
- 2 craft sticks/disposable spoons (for stirring)
- 1/2 tsp Borax
- 2 tbsp hot water
- 1 tbsp Elmers white glue
- 1 tbsp Corn Starch
- Food coloring (optional)
- To make the borax solution – Take a cup, Add hot water & borax to it. Stir well. Let the borax dissolve completely.
- To make the Glue solution – Take a cup, Add glue, cornstarch & food color to it. Mix well.
- Add 1/2 tsp of borax solution to the glue solution. Let the mixture react for abt 15 seconds and then stir well.
- Once the mixture becomes difficult to stir, take it out and roll it into a ball.
- The ball starts out sticky and messy but will solidify as you mould it.
- Once the ball gets less sticky continue rolling between hands to make it round and smooth. The more you handle the better it is.
- Voila! Your bouncy ball is ready to play😀
How does it work?
For older kids, explain the science behind this activity. It demonstrates an interesting chemical reaction, primarily between the borax and the glue. The borax acts as a “cross-linker” to the polymer molecules in the glue – basically it creates chains of molecules that stay together when you pick them up. The cornstarch helps to bind the molecules together so that they hold their shape better. Also try experimenting by adjusting the amount of borax, glue, and cornstarch to get the highest bounce.
Note: The ball does flatten out after sitting out for a while. But will get back its shape if you roll it between your hands. Store it in a ziploc or an airtight container. The above recipe makes one bouncy ball. Using clear glue does not make a clear bouncy ball. I tried this recipe with dollar store glue and it did not work – it works perfectly with elmers white glue.