How to Make Your Own Bouncy Ball
November 18, 2019
Did you know that your kids can use household ingredients to make a bouncy ball? Kids will love participating in our fun, DIY bouncy ball experiment. You’ll make your own bouncy ball, and have fun learning about science along the way!
Have you ever made cool slime with your kids? Then you may already have everything you need!
Before You Get Started
As you prepare to make the bouncy ball, keep these tips in mind to make the experiment both fun and safe for your child:
- Borax is a common ingredient in laundry detergent and can be found in the laundry aisle. It is best if an adult mixes the Borax solution. Make sure your child does not put the Borax solution or the bouncy ball in their mouths.
- If your child has sensitive skin, have them wear gloves while making and playing with the bouncy ball.
- Wash your hands after making this experiment and playing with the ball.
- Name brand glue works best for this experiment. With off brand glue, the experiment may not turn out correctly.
- Keep in mind that these bouncy balls will lose their shape over time.
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp Borax
- 1-2 tbsp glitter glue OR white glue and food coloring (depending what you want the ball to look like)
- 2 disposable bowls for mixes
- Stirring stick
- Gloves for each participant
- Stir together the warm water and Borax in one of the bowls using the stirring stick. Make sure the Borax dissolves completely.
- Measure the glue into the other bowl. If using white glue and food coloring, add food coloring until you get the color you want and mix it together with the stir stick.
- Add 1/2 tsp of the Borax solution into the bowl with the glue. Let it sit for 10 to 15 seconds before stirring together.
- Once the mixture becomes difficult to stir, remove it from the bowl and shape it into a sphere with your hands. As you continue to squeeze and shape the ball, the mixture will get less sticky.
- When you like the ball’s shape, bounce it around and have fun!
The Science of Bouncy Balls
Making a bouncy ball is an example of a chemical reaction. This reaction happens between the Borax and glue. The Borax is the cross-linker for the glue’s polymer molecules. This creates chains of molecules that stay together when your child plays with the ball.
Now, use this recipe to make your own experiment! Try adjusting the amount of Borax and glue. You will notice that the more glue you use, the bigger the ball is! You can also try adding other ingredients like cornstarch to see what happens to the ball’s bounce and shape.
Enjoy More Experiments With Science Explorers
At Science Explorers, our mission is to get kids excited about science. At our summer camps and after school clubs for children ages 4-11, we do fun experiments like this one. Your kids will not only learn about science — they will have a blast along the way!