How to make a borax bouncy ball

Written by axl j. amistaadt
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How to make a borax bouncy ball
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Bouncy balls rebound in response to the amount of force used when they contact hard surfaces. That simply means that a bouncy ball will bounce back at you with about 80 per cent of the energy you used when you threw it and bounced it off of something rigid. These toys are popular and fascinating to children and adults alike. They are often seen in vending machines found next to candy and gum ball machines. They are available in discount, grocery and department stores in a wide variety of colours and designs. You can easily make your own bouncy ball with this fun activity. Most, if not all, of what you'll need is probably already in your home.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Borax
  • Cornstarch
  • White glue or clear school glue
  • Warm water
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Permanent marker
  • 2 disposable plastic cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Disposable spoons or craft sticks for stirring
  • Clock or watch with a second hand
  • Plastic zip-close bags

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Use the permanent marker to label the plastic cups. Write "Ball" on one of the cups, and "Borax" on the other one.

  2. 2

    Combine 1/2 tsp borax with 2 tbsp warm water in the borax cup, and stir it well to dissolve the borax. Add food colouring a drop at a time, stirring after each addition, until the mixture's shade suits you.

  3. 3

    Pour 1 tbsp glue into the "Ball" cup. Add 1/2 tsp of the borax mixture to the glue. Do not stir this. Add 1 tbsp of the cornstarch. Do not stir this, either. The ingredients will now begin to combine with each other on their own. Wait 10 to 15 seconds, and then stir the mixture very well. Keep stirring constantly until it thickens to the point that the mixture is no longer possible to stir.

    How to make a borax bouncy ball
  4. 4

    Scoop the stiffened mixture out of the cup with a spoon, and begin kneading it with your hands. Shape it into a ball as you are kneading it. The ball will be messy and very sticky at first, but it will begin to solidify with handling and exposure to air. Once it's no longer sticky, you can bounce it.

  5. 5

    Wash your hands, work area and all the utensils with warm soapy water when you are finished with this project. Store the bouncy ball in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature when it's not in use.

Tips and warnings

  • Using white glue will make the ball opaque. To make a translucent ball, use clear school glue instead.
  • Adding extra glue will produce a slimier ball. If you want a ball that can bend and stretch, use more cornstarch. Experiment with different amounts of cornstarch, borax and glue to produce bouncy balls with varying properties.

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