Having a science themed meeting with your Scouts? Instead of a craft, make up a batch of silly putty. This stuff is stretchy and the Scouts will enjoy playing with it. Have some small containers ready so they can take it home.
I encourage you to do a test run on your own first, so you get the hang of it and can judge the messiness and have an appropriate work space.
Homemade Silly Putty
- 2 bowls
- 2 spoons for stirring
- 1 tsp. borax
- 1 cup white or transparent school glue
- 1 1/4 cups water
- optional: food coloring
- Put 3/4 cup water in one bowl.
- Add the food coloring and borax.
- Stir until the borax is dissolved.
- Put 1/2 cup of the water and the glue in the second bowl.
- Stir the glue and water until combined.
- Slowly add the glue mixture into the borax mixture, stirring while you do so.
- The mixture will form a ball. Continue to mix it with your hands. (They will enjoy this part!)
- Observe the qualities of the silly putty.
You’ve made a polymer. Polymers are long chains of molecules. The chains move around each other easily. This, along with the types of links in the chain, explains how it is a solid, but can slowly flow, like a liquid. Plastics are polymers.