Jan 17, 2012

DIY Bouncy Ball

Again, the boys were home today because of Student Led Conferences. After going to their school and talking with both of their teachers we came home for the rest of the day. I am trying to make the most of our time together. I found another activity for us to do today. Yes, I did find this one on Pinterest as well. Today we made bouncy balls. I bought a box of Borax specifically to make the slime that we made yesterday so I was trying to find activities to use the Borax again. I don’t want it to go to waste.
To make a bouncy ball you will need:

Borax, glue, food coloring (I used the food coloring that is used to color icing. It’s what I had around and it makes richer colors than the liquid kind.), a spoon to stir with, 2 bowls, a bag, labels, a marker, measuring spoons

How to make a bouncy ball:

1. Label one of the 2 bowls mixture and the other bowl solution.



2. In the bowl labeled Solution mix 2 tablespoons of water with ½ teaspoon of
Borax. Add food coloring.


3. In the bowl labeled Mixture pour 1 tablespoon of glue. Add ½ teaspoon of the Borax solution to the glue followed by 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. DO NOT STIR. Allow the items to react with one another for 10-15 seconds.

4. After waiting for 10-15 seconds stir the mixture until it is impossible to stir.


5. When you are no longer able to stir the mixture take it out of the bowl and begin kneading it with your hands. ~It will be a little sticky, but not too bad.

6. When it’s less sticky you should be able to bounce it.

*Store your bouncy ball in an airtight baggie.

My Review of the process and outcome:

My 3 year old and 6 year old were able to help with creating this bouncy ball. I measured the items and they poured them into the proper bowls. They enjoyed helping each step of the way. As we were measuring, pouring, and mixing we made predictions about what would happen when the items got together. B and G really liked watching the cornstarch absorb the food coloring and Borax mixture (step #3). Both boys were able to easily stir the mixture and knead it (step #4). We were not able to get the mixture to bounce. It seems to me like it made more of textured (because of the cornstarch) dough.

I’m not sure where we goofed in the process. We made 3 different balls (there is plenty of Borax solution to make even more than 3 balls.) The first time we let the mixture sit for 10 seconds as directed in step #3 before stirring. The second time we let the mixture sit for 15 seconds before stirring and the third time we let it sit for 20 seconds. We had the same outcome each time – textured dough.

It is my guess that some people would have referred to this experiment as a flop. I do not feel that it was a flop. First of all, my kids and I spent time together. There is never wasted time when it comes to being with my family. My boys had to work together and share throughout the process. We had good conversation and made great predictions. I think it’s good for kids to see that things don’t always go as planned, this is real life. They need to see that everything isn’t perfect and there are times when you have to step back and re-evaluate the process, which we did 3 times, and still no luck! Oh well, there’s always next time. B and G did enjoy the process and playing with the dough. I would not call this a flop at all I would more accurately describe it as an experiment with a hidden agenda!

Has anyone tried to make a bouncy ball and gotten it to work? Are there any predictions as to where I made a mistake in the process?

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