Home made (not so super) super balls


John and I have both been volunteering for the past couple of years doing activities with the kids. Somehow this year, I have agreed to take over samantha’s Brownie unit. I didn’t realize how much work it would be, and we haven’t even had our first meeting yet! But one of the badges we are working on this year is the science and technology badge where we have to do an experiment and observe the results. I pinned this idea on pinterest ages ago. Today, we tried it out….

This recipe is to make your own super, or bouncy balls.
You need borax, white glue, corn starch and water.

Start by mixing together 2 tbsp warm water, 1 tsp borax, food colouring in a container or bowl.

In a separate bowl, add 1tbsp white glue. Then, add 1/2 tsp of the coloured borax mixture and 1tbsp of cornstarch. Do not mix. Let it sit for about 15 to 20 seconds.

Then stir… (this part is really cool, it begins to turn solid almost instantly!)

When it’s too hard to mix, pick it up and kneed.

Then roll it in the palm of your hands to form a ball.
We found that it was a really cool experiment to try. The kids loved watching it turn from a liquid to a solid -great chemical reaction! But… It was more like play dough than a bouncy ball (although Dylan did try to bounce it on the floor a couple times)
So, we looked online to try to find another recipe…we found this one, with the same ingredients, but different procedure…
In one cup/bowl, mix 3 tbsp cornstarch, 4 tbsp water, in another other cup mix 1 tbsp white glue and food colouring.

Mix the two together…

And…we got the same result, a cool chemical reaction, but once again, nothing super about the balls it made! Here are our finished balls…


But here is what the photo looked like on pinterest….not quite the same!

But, look what Sam made with a couple batches of different colours…a monster!

I would definitely do this experiment again to teach chemical reactions, but not to make super balls.
***note -we did this a couple days ago and the balls have dried out a little, but they still don’t bounce that well.

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