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Is Snazzy, Homemade Slime Worth The Extra Time?

Our First Slime

Last night, before heading out to shop for ingredients for a slime-o-palooza, I told my 7-year-old daughter that tomorrow we would be making slime. I expected excitement, questions, or relief that we would be taking a break from dictionary work. Instead, to my surprise, she was a bit worried.

J. “Why are we making slime?”

K. “Because it’s fun and popular right now. Lots of kids love it and Mommy promised that she would test a slime recipe for a friend.”

J. “I don’t like being sticky. Isn’t slime sticky?”

K. “Not really…”

J. “But isn’t slime…slimy?”

K. “You’ll like it. It’ll be fun. I promise.”

Clearly, this is failure on my part. She is missing a compulsory experience of childhood; slime. So, I drag my family to Party City, Michael’s, and Costco. Exhaustion set in before we got to Walmart, but I’m determined to try it again another night. I refuse to be limited in my slime options.

I didn’t make slime before this because I think that most of those Pinterest recipes are unreliable. That doesn’t usually stop me. I’ve tried the dubious mug cakes and paleo cookies. The outcomes are mostly bad, but I’m game to keep trying. The difference is that slime requires lots of stuff that I don’t have lying around the house. Saline solution for contacts, shaving cream, glue in bulk…I don’t have any of those things on hand.

Sarah McClelland, of Little Bins for Little Hands, was looking for recipe testers and I felt like that was a safe gamble. A lady who wrote a whole book of slime recipes probably knows her slime. I jumped right in. Volunteer first, ask later, because those free copies are going fast!

I managed to get everything that I needed to make Saline Solution Slime. Sarah has a one minute instructional video. Check it out.

 

New, Sticky Slime
New, Sticky Slime

 

Sarah’s book, the Ultimate Slime Guide, has some troubleshooting suggestions if something goes wrong. Also, different brands of ingredients probably yield slightly different results and it’s also a matter of preference. You may end up tweaking the recipe a little. My slime didn’t form right away. It took about 10 minutes of mixing in the bowl, and I added a little extra saline solution. It eventually did work, though. Initially the slime was very thin. I’m an eighties kid and I remember the green “snot” slime that oozed out of the mouths and noses of various toys when I was little. At first the slime was a little thinner than that. After an hour of play it was, in my opinion, perfect. After two hours of play it was getting closer to the density of silly putty. Next time I would be more patient and not add the extra solution. J. really enjoyed the slime most when it was very soft.

 

Perfect Slime, 1 Hour Old
Perfect Slime, 1 Hour Old

 

The Pros and Cons of DIY Slime

So, why should you check out homemade slime when you have so many similar options for sensory play? After all, you can often find slime ready-made in jars. There are several textures of playdough from which to choose. There’s kinetic sand. Prior to testing this slime our go to was silly putty, particularly from Crazy Aaron’s Putty World. You need to visit this site. So much silly putty!

Pros

  1. Though the cost of buying slime ingredients seems high, especially when buying in bulk, it’s still much cheaper than most of the store-bought alternatives. It costs about $12 for 8 oz. of Play-Doh and $10 for 8 oz. of Kinetic Sand. Silly putty can cost twice as much. Making homemade slime is a fraction of the cost.For our slime adventure I bought:
    Confetti (1.5 oz) $3.49
    Glue (1 gal) $35.00
    Baking Soda (3 kg) $5.99
    Saline Solution (960 ml) $15.99
    Food Colouring (28 ml) $2.79That seems like a lot, since I bought in bulk, but it only cost roughly $1.30 to make one batch of slime. Plus, I can keep making it as often as I want.
  2. My daughter loves making recipes with me, but I want to limit how often I bake cookies and cakes. This is a project that looks a lot like baking with Mommy, but no one is expected to eat the results. Yay for my diet!
  3. Making slime wasn’t messy at all. When the mixing is done there is no mess and little clean up. Baking is way messier.
  4. According to Sarah, the slime keeps for several weeks. It will look bright and playful in jars, lining the shelves of your schoolroom. I use mason jars. The Michael’s near me has a section dedicated to slime and I saw jars there that all matched and they were stackable.
  5. You get to customize DIY slime just for you. You can experiment and get the consistency just the way you want it. You can come up with themes for your slime and add in any style of confetti, glitter, or small toys that you can imagine.
  6. When it gets gross from dirty little hands (And it will!) you can throw it out and make more without feeling guilty about the money you spent.
  7. Do you like stress balls or fidget spinners? It’s fun for grownups to play with slime, too. Kids benefit when you’re having fun right alongside them.
Slime in a jar.
Slime in a jar.

Cons

  1. It took a little patience to wait for the slime to start to set.
  2. The slime didn’t hold it’s consistency. It gets progressively stiffer as you play with it. If you like it at a particular stage, it might not stay that way very long. You’ll just have to make more!
  3. If it gets on your clothing it doesn’t wipe or peel off easily. The clothing needs to be rinsed with soap and warm water. The urgency depends on what colouring you chose for the slime.
  4. You can put just about anything in the slime, but J. and I are in agreement that small, smooth things work best for us. Even though our confetti was thin and soft, edges don’t feel very nice. The larger confetti pieces also tended to stick more to our hands than to the slime.
  5. You’ll get the best add-ins if you shop for them year round. There wasn’t a lot of variety available, but by taking advantage of seasons and trends I’m sure you could find some exciting things.
  6. Not all the slime ingredients are available in every country. In Canada, I can’t seem to buy any liquid starch. However, there are lots of recipes in Sarah’s book that I can make. It’s not all about the base slime recipe, either. You can adapt all the creative ideas in the Ultimate Slime Guide to use them in different slime recipes.

Sarah put together a great video series to get you started. To sign up for the FREE video series, click here.

Ok! Now that I’ve convinced you that every child needs a selection of slime at their disposal, go make some and tell me about it in the comments.

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