SLIME! If you’re a parent, you’re probably cringing at this craze that has lasted over a year now. Making slime, playing with slime, experimenting with new slime recipes, watching videos about slime, teaching others to make slime, putting new things in slime, figuring out where slime sticks and where it doesn’t. We are undoubtedly in THE SLIME ERA. I know lots of parents who hate all things slime — it’s messy, it’s sticky, it’s constant, it’s annoying. But I’ve looked on the bright side and have come up with TEN REASONS TO LOVE SLIME!!!! Read on, and embrace the craze.
- IT’S ENTERTAINING. I have perfected the process of putting out the ingredients for slime, and letting my kids make it while I GET SOMETHING ELSE DONE! Yes! Wash the dishes! Make a snack! Make a coffee and even have a few minutes to sip it while it’s hot! Making slime and then playing with it guarantees at least 10 minutes of entertainment for the kids. Bring it on!
- IT’S SENSORY PLAY. Studies show that hands on learning and sensory play is great for kids’ cognitive development. Now, don’t let them eat slime, but let them smell it, touch it, feel it, listen to the goopy sounds it makes, and watch it stretch and flow and seep all over the place. Good parenting! Great learning! It also triggers creative thinking and imaginative play. Just like looking at clouds, my little guys love to call out what shapes their slime becomes — “Mom, it’s a hot dog!” “Mom, it’s a dog!” “Mom, it’s a rectangle!” “Mom, it’s a p#nis.” (Yep. Mother of Boys. M.O.B. Truths.)
- IT’S SOMETHING TO PRACTICE SAYING “YES” TO. I realize I say “no” or “not now” a lot to my kids, and then I stop and think, “Why?” I’m trying to say “yes” more often to slime-making these days. I’ve made it simple by keeping all the ingredients in one place, which is reachable for my two older boys, R and E. I’ve also declared the kitchen table as the only slime-making center . . .so even though it may eventually make its way onto the floor or even — UH OH — the carpet, it always starts out and is created at the table: mess contained, ingredients localized.
- RAIN OR SHINE! Indoors or Outdoors! The only other place besides the kitchen table I let my kids make slime is outdoors. Slime is the perfect activity outside on a sunny day, or inside on a rainy or sunny day! Unlike some other summer fun activities, this one is easy to prep for and initiate in just minutes, no matter how hot or humid or rainy it is. Boredom solved!
- THE CHANCE TO HELP OUT. R sometimes displays perfect big brother tendencies . . . like bothering his little brothers and playing tricks on them. He also often displays the big brother tendencies of teaching them and showing them things he knows how to do. Making slime seems to bring out the best of his abilities to do that. He asks little D what color he wants, helps him pour the glue, and walks him through the process. It’s adorable to watch how proud R is doing this, and how appreciative D is. (Until D wants to do it all and R gets annoyed, of course).
- IT’S SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE WATER BOTTLE FLIPPING CRAZE. No further explanation needed.
- IT’S MORE ENGAGING THAN THE FIDGET SPINNER CRAZE, which came and went pretty quickly compared to this slime craze, which seems to be sticking around (hee hee, pun intended).
- IT HELPS CLEAR OUT THE CLUTTERED PLASTIC CONTAINER CABINET! Lots of parents complain that all their plastic containers have been lost to slime. The way I see it, when my kids take out containers to use for slime, they’re helping to clear out the ever-growing cluttered mess in my cabinet. Somehow, I keep putting new containers in, and never purging old ones. The slime era is helping me work through that. (Note: I fully expect to find petrified, rotting slime in containers somewhere in my kids’ rooms a decade from now when they head off to college. Let’s see if I am still pro-slime then).
- IT TEACHES SHARING. OK, maybe a long shot. But I’ve been buying the massive container of glue, and when my boys make slime together, they have to actually take turns getting their ingredients. Only one person can have the glue at once . . . so . . . .be patient, and SHARE.
- IT PERFECTS A PLAY DATE. Having a friend over? Running out of things to play, when his parent is coming in just 15 or 20 minutes? Make slime. Then put it in a sealed plastic baggie or plastic container for him to take home and enjoy . . . wow! A souvenir from playing at a friend’s house? How cool is that!?!? Just be aware that this is may have adverse effects on your friendship with his parents. They may be anti-slime. Share this blog post with them to see if we can change their minds.
Happy slime-making! Here’s our favorite “recipe.” Just like when my mom makes delicious meatballs but can’t tell me exactly the measure of breadcrumbs, and then she switches up the recipe and they’re even more delicious the next time, that’s how R makes slime. Many iterations, a bit of experimenting, and a lot of fun:
Contact lens solution
Optional: Food coloring
Put 1 1/2 tsp baking soda in the plastic container you’re using to make and store the slime
Add a few squeezes of contact lens solution — just enough to cover approx. half the bottom of the container
Add glue — however much slime you want — that’s the main ingredient
Stir it all together! Add drops of food coloring if desired.
If the slime is coming out too sticky, gradually add a little more contact lens solution.
If the slime is too slippery, gradually add a tiny bit more baking soda or glue or both until you get to your desired consistency.
What’s your favorite recipe?