½ Cup Warm Water
1 Tb Borax
1 Tb of Cornstarch
2 Tb White Liquid Glue
Optional: Disposable rubber gloves.
In a cup mix the warm water and the borax.
In another cup mix the glue, cornstarch, and food coloring.
Pour the glue mixture into the water-borax cup.
The glue mixture will harden after 10 seconds; use a fork to take it out of the water. If the glue mixture is still sticky, squish it with your hands and dip it back in the water.
Roll the mixture in your hands to make a ball. The more you handle the mixture the firmer it will become.
You are done!
Why Does This Work?
This activity 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.
Make It An Experiment:
You can turn this activity into a true experiment by adjusting the amount of borax, glue, and cornstarch to get the highest bounce. You can also experiment to discover the best way to get the bouncy ball to keep its bounce over time. Have fun!