My daughter is only 5 but has picked up some fun vibes from me along the way. Considering she has spent 99% of her life with me, it doesn't surprise me when she comes up to me and asks to 'make something'. She is always interested in helping cook, have a crafty afternoon, or do science experiments. I still haven't decided which she likes best but I do know when I surprise her with a new play recipe, she'll always be down to make. These Glitter Bouncy Balls were a hit, just like I imagined.
I honestly believe that the 'making' process is what she is after. The finished product is always nice, but she enjoys the hands on process more than any of it! She is not afraid to get a little dirty either, which I love. I wasn't sure if these glitter bouncy balls were going to turn out, but I knew she wouldn't mind making them anyway. But guess what? THEY WORKED! We were able to enjoy making the bouncy balls and play with them after as well.
It is amazing to me that such simple ingredients can actually make something. There isn't anything in this recipe that can't be purchased at Walmart, on Amazon or probably even a grocery store. Heck, you might even have all the supplies in your cupboards right now. All we used is borax, water, white glue, corn starch, food coloring and glitter. Yes! Those ingredients make bouncy balls. How fun right?
We chose to use gel food coloring because of the vibrant results. It takes a fraction of the amount to make colors 'normal' food coloring couldn't even touch. The colors turned out so fun and bright.
A little PSA: It wasn't until recently that I bought gel food coloring because of the misconception of high price. It really isn't that much more than regular food coloring! We loved the vibrant colors & also used them in this Scented Bath Paint.
How to Make Bouncing BallsStart off by mixing 1 Tablespoon Borax and 1/2 Cup warm water together in a bowl. The borax didn't dissolve completely for me but I just mixed as much as I could. The excess borax didn't seem to hurt the process. Set this bowl aside.
In the next bowl mix: 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch, 2 Tablespoons White Glue, Food Coloring, and Glitter. Mix the ingredients together completely until there is only color showing, no white from the cornstarch or glue.
Scoop this glue mixture into the borax mixture. If you want multiple little balls, scoop them so they don't touch in the borax water.
Leave the color gloop in the borax water for about 30 second. It will feel harder and much less sticky if it is ready.
Take the bouncy ball mix out to mix it in your hands. I knead it like bread for about 30 seconds and then form it into a ball. I set it down while I do the same for the others but go back to it to make sure it stays in a ball form.
**If it is still sticky, you can put it back in the water for a little longer.
When the balls don't start 'sinking' (you'll see what I mean), it means they are ready. You can let them sit to harden or you can play with them. We haven't actually ever let them sit. We're too excited to play with them.
I stored ours in a zip lock bag. They did start to flatten, but rolled right back together when we wanted to play with them again.
Note: This recipe is for one color. To make two, like we did, I used three bowls. One for each of the cornstarch/glue/food coloring/glitter mixture and the third for the borax mixture. I did not need to double the borax mixture when using two different batches of color.
We had so much fun making these (and playing with them too). The sparkly glitter was such a fun touch. She is happy that we got to make something and I am happy we got to practice our measurements and fractions.
More fun PLAY Recipes
Deanna Hershberger is a work at home mom, coffee obsessed, a diy addict and a Netflix binger. She spends her days playing and making with her daughter and enjoys quiet nights at home with her husband. She shares all of this on her blog Play Dough & Popsicles.