Silly Slime with Museum & Theatre Educator, Sam!

Slime. We certainly know it when we see it, but what really is it.

Kiddo playing with the final product: Silly Slime.

The Science

Usually, we define substances as solid, liquid, or gas- the three states of matter.  Solids consist of tightly packed molecules that move very little. Liquids on the other hand, have molecules that flow and move around each other. In gasses, the molecules are very fast and far apart. So what do we do about something that can looks and feel solid but can move more like a liquid?

Think Silly-Putty – it might harden when you squeeze it, or even bounce if you throw it on the floor, but let it sit in your hand, and it will ooze. So what can we classify silly-putty and slime as? Here’s your answer, substances with this consistency are called a non-newtonian substance. This is a substance that (dependent on how you manipulate it, like our silly-putty example) can sometimes act like a solid OR like a liquid. Non-Newtonian substances are all around us!

Fun Fact: any of them are food products that we eat such as honey, ketchup, peanut butter, and whipped cream.  

Playing with Silly Slime

It’s Slime Time!

The “Silly” Slime recipe, as I call it, is really simple but requires heating which can be an added safety hurdle when working with kids. Please, if you’re interested in making this at home, have an adult present and assisting any kiddos.

Our main ingredient for this recipe is Psyllium husk- A plant based, fiber supplement found in products like Metamucil (I like to use it because it’s borax free!).

For this recipe you will need:

  • Psyllium husk
  • Water
  • Food Coloring (of your choice!)
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • ADULT ASSISTANCE

Another tip before we being: The ratio for Silly Slime is 1 tbs of psyllium husk to 1 cup of water. For the sake of this recipe, we’ll assume that you are making slime for one!

First, pour…

  • 1 cup of water
  • Desired amount of food coloring (Pro Tip: less is ALWAYS more)

…into a microwavable-safe bowl. Begin to mix as you add…

  • 1 tbs of psyllium husk

Continue stirring until mixture until is well-combined.

This is where things can get tricky (and sticky)

READ THIS SECTION FULLY BEFORE YOU BEGIN HEATING!

Microwave the mixture for 5-10 minutes or until it reaches desired consistency. Be aware, after the initial 2 minutes of heating, the slime can begin to rise. So, we recommend you keep an eye on it at is heats!

Pro Tip: My “desired consistency” for slime is when it sticks to a spoon and creates a long slime train.  A good thing to keep in mind is that the slime is “sheer thinning” which means it acts more like a liquid the more you manipulate it. This can mean a bigger mess but helps if it comes in contact with things like fabric.

Finally, cautiously remove your mixture from the microwave and pour it out onto a plate (or table-top if you love a good mess like I do). Once the slime is cool enough, it’s time to pick-up, jiggle, and play!

Have fun scientists!

-Sam Connelly, Educator