For some reason, when it comes to kids, playing is just so much more fun when it's messy. So, sure, you can buy bouncy balls for 25 cents at a grocery store vending machine, but then your little scientists wouldn't get to see them turn from glue and powder to rubbery toys right before their eyes (or get their hands dirty). And where's the fun in that?
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- Two small bowls ($12 for set of 3, amazon.com)
- Two plastic forks ($5 for pack of 50, amazon.com)
- Measuring cup ($8, amazon.com)
- Measuring spoons ($5 for set of 6, amazon.com)
- Borax ($11 for 65-oz box, amazon.com)
- Corn flour ($9 for 24-oz bag, amazon.com)
- 4-oz bottle of school glue (We used clear — $3, michaels.com — but white should work, too)
- Food coloring ($3 for set of 4, amazon.com)
1. Mix 2 tbsp. hot water and 1/2 tsp. Borax in a small bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine 1 tbsp. corn flour, 1 tbsp. glue and a few drops of food coloring.
3. Transfer 1/2 tsp. of the Borax and water mixture into the bowl with corn flour, then mix everything together until it solidifies.
4. Scoop your mixture out and roll it into a ball shape. Let the bouncing begin!
We found that the balls bounced higher after they'd been allowed to sit and harden for 10-20 minutes. Store your new toys in an airtight container after you're done playing — they'll last longer.
Editor's Note: Borax (not to be confused with boric acid) is a naturally occurring mineral that is safe to handle. But as with any household cleaning product, remember to wash your hands, keep it away from your eyes, and avoid inhaling it or exposing yourself to large quantities of it. All crafts using borax should be created under adult supervision, and children should always thoroughly clean their hands when finished. Borax is not food safe. If your child accidentally ingests it, contact the American Associate of Poison Control immediately at 1-800-222-1222.
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