Make your own bouncy balls: Does it work?

I’ve seen them and pinned them on Pinterest:  Tutorials on how to make your own bouncy balls at home.  Sounds like fun, right?!  My kids and I thought that would be a nifty little project, so we made bouncy balls today for Try It Tuesday.

But this post is not a tutorial nor a recommendation for making bouncy balls at home.  Because we weren’t very successful with this experiment.

Make your own bouncy balls - amerrymom.comWe followed the first set of instructions I found and ended up with bouncy balls that were too hard and cracked.  It may have had something to do with the clear glitter glue that we used (thinking it would be fun to have glittery bouncy balls), since that glue was more stiff than regular white glue.  We tossed those in the trash and decided to try again.  We thought we could make this experiment work!

We followed the second set of instructions I found, using regular white school glue this time, and ended up with bouncy balls that were too gooey and sticky.  We sprinkled in more borax while rolling the mixture into a ball and it eventually solidified into a ball that could bounce a little.  Whew!  It was messy and frustrating.

Not wanting to admit failure, we decided to try one more time.  Those cute little homemade bouncy balls from Pinterest beckoned.  I really wanted to make them with my kids!

Our final attempt was the most successful.  Realizing that we needed to end up somewhere between the first and second formulas, we came up with our own measurements for the ingredients.

  • Put 2 tablespoons of warm water in a disposable plastic cup.
  • Mix in 1 tablespoon of borax and set aside.
  • In a separate plastic cup, combine 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 1.5 tablespoons of white school glue.
  • Add in food coloring to achieve the desired color.
  • Combine the glue/corn starch mixture into the borax water, then mix until the glue mixture is congealed.
  • Wearing disposable plastic/latex/vinyl gloves (because it can be messy), roll the glue mixture in your palms until formed into a ball that is the right consistency.  Sprinkle in more borax if it’s too sticky.

With this formulation, we did get small bouncy balls (about the same width as a quarter) that have some bounce.  They’re not super bouncy or pretty, though.  They’re simply fun for the kids because they created these bouncy balls themselves.

Good luck if you try this experiment!  We found that it takes patience and perseverance to make your own bouncy balls at home.

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