This past weekend was my son’s birthday. He turned six! We broke our own rules of 1) having birthday parties at home and 2) inviting no more than 10 guests. This year he wanted to invite all of the kids in Kindergarten (oy!), no one was to be left out. With so many invitees, we had to come up with a new plan. We decided to rent out the local movie theatre, and make a homemade party favor that wouldn’t cost too much. After some investigation, and many lengthy discussions, we decided to make flubber!
I researched and tried several variations on the recipe. We made 10 batches, each batch filling 4 containers. That’s 40 party favors! I designed a little label which I had printed on sticker paper at my local print shop, color coordinated, of course, and we were done. Moms were happy there was no candy, and my son was happy that he could share something he made himself.
Here is the simple recipe we used:
~ 1 1/2 cups very warm water
~ 2 cups white school glue (I used Elmer’s)
~ Food coloring
Combine in a small to medium bowl and stir with a clean spoon.
~ 3 teaspoons Borax (found at the grocery store)
~ 1 cup very warm water
Combine in a large bowl, stir until dissolved (or almost dissolved) with a clean spoon.
Pour mixture 1 into mixture 2. Because of the science behind this recipe, the borax combines with the PVA in the glue and makes a polymer. You could do nothing at this point and it would turn to flubber after a while. But what fun would that be? Your kids will want to stick their hands in immediately and start mixing. It will take about 10 minutes, but eventually all of the water will be absorbed, and you will have flubber!
Since I am an eco-mom, I did some research on Borax. (I had read on a few blogs that it was toxic which freaked me out). Borax (sodium borate) is a mined substance, just like salt is mined, and occurs naturally in the Mojave Desert, Chile and Tibet. Borax is only slightly more toxic than salt, and in some countries it is used as a salt substitute. Caffeine is 14 times more toxic than Borax! Flouride is more toxic, too. Breathing Borax powder is not a good idea, so don’t let your kids handle the powder. But once it is in it’s polymer form, it is completely safe.
Remind your kids that flubber is not a food! Also, just to be safe, have them wash their hands after playing with their flubber.
Tip: Keep your flubber in an airtight container, or a ziploc baggie. it’s shelf life is about 3 weeks. When throwing out your flubber, use the garbage not the sink.