We made homemade silly putty this week and created our own melting pumpkins! This was also a great time to discuss the 3 different states of matter (solid, liquid, and gas) and point out that silly putty is neither one! I am planning to have this at one of the center activities for Big Brother’s fall party, along with some examples of the states of matter in gloves.
Here’s what you’ll need: Elmer’s Glue, Borax, water, food coloring for the homemade silly putty. Please note: There is some controversy surrounding Borax. Based on my research, it is safe as long as it isn’t ingested. Just be sure your child washes his/her hands after playing with it. If you still aren’t comfortable, use one of the other recipes for making silly putty.
To make the jack-o-lanterns, you’ll also need wiggly eyes, wood beads, mini pony beads, and green pipe cleaners.
We followed the directions on WikiHow to create homemade silly putty.
1. Mix 1/4 cup of glue and 1/4 cup of water until it is completely combined.
2. Add food coloring. We used red and yellow to make orange. :)
3. In a separate bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of borax with 2 tablespoons of water until the borax is dissolved (if it isn’t dissolved fully, your silly putty will be grainy). Combine both of the mixtures and it will start to congeal. Remove the solid mass from the liquid and knead until smooth.
4. Make your jack-o-lantern using the silly putty and the bead, pipe cleaner, googly eyes, and mini pony beads.
…several seconds later!
I stored the jack-o-lantern sets in baby food containers. They were perfect!
The Science Behind It: Silly Putty is not a liquid or a solid: It is considered to be a non-Newtonian fluid, which acts as a liquid over a long time period but as a solid over a short time period of time.