Bouncy balls are great and using science to make them at home is even better. This is a trickier experiment than usual, but well worth the effort!
Quick common sense warning: Don’t eat the materials used to make the ball or the ball itself. Wash your work area, utensils, and hands when you have completed this activity.
What you need:
- Borax (found in the laundry section of the store)
- White, blue, or red glue to make a solid color ball
- Clear school glue to make a see through ball
- Warm water
- Food coloring
- Tablespoon and teaspoon measure
- 2 small plastic cups
- Zip-lock plastic baggie
What you do:
- Label one plastic cup “Borax” and one plastic cup “Ball”.
- Into the Borax Cup:
- Pour 2 tablespoons of warm water into the “Borax ” cup.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon borax powder into the “Borax” cup.
- Stir the mixture to dissolve the borax.
- Add food coloring, if you want a colored ball.
- Into the Ball Cup:
- Pour 1 tablespoon of glue into the cup.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of the borax solution from the “Borax” cup.
- Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
- Do not stir. Allow the ingredients to interact for 10-15 seconds.
- Now stir the ingredients thoroughly together.
- Once the mixture becomes to thick to stir, take it out of the cup and start molding the ball with your hands.
- The ball will start out sticky and messy, but will firm up as you work with it.
- Once the ball is less sticky – Bounce Away!
Want more? Experiment and discover…
Try changing the ratio between the amounts of glue, cornstarch, and borax. Adding more cornstarch will make a ball that stretches and bends. Using less borax will produce a ‘goopier’ type of ball. Add more glue for a slimier ball.
Make fancy bouncy balls – add glitter, change the glue from white glue to clear glue, make two ball cups of different colors and try to mold into one multi-color ball!