Welcome to our second episode of Sylvia’s Super Awesome Mini Maker Show! Hey! Did you know you could have fun making extended polymer chains at home with household chemicals? You bet you can! Today we’re going to make “Crazy putty!”
For this super squishy build we’ll need:
- At least 4oz of white school glue (not the washable kind)
- A Measuring Cup
- Borax (used for cleaning)
- 2 bowls for mixing
- And some food coloring if you want it to look cool.
First, put one cup of water in a bowl, then add in 1 teaspoon of borax (be careful not to get any in your eyes), stirring till it dissolves completely. Keep stirring! Next, take 4 oz of glue and mix it with a half cup of water in the other bowl. If you want super-awesome color putty, add the dye to the glue and water now. When it all looks ready, you can slowly pour the borax solution into the glue, and watch as it thickens up immediately before your eyes.
The glue is what’s called a polymer. Polymers are like a bunch of tiny chains inside the glue that keep from flowing like a regular liquid, and help it stick to things. When you mix in the, borax, it acts like a linker, connecting and extending all the little polymer chains of glue to form a bunch of much longer chains.
All this chain lengthening stiffens the glue and water mix, and makes it much harder to move around. It makes it almost not a liquid anymore, though it will melt if you leave it alone long enough.
Try experiment with changing the glue to borax ratio, freezing it, or letting it melt through stuff. Just make sure to not get it in your hair, clothing or carpets! Have fun and remember, get out there and make something!