Jan 27, 2016

Ack! Gak!

I'm probably the biggest kid you know! I love to make things! I love big machines! I want to know how things work!! So perhaps that is part of why I enjoy my grandkids so much... I get to be a kid with them.

On Monday, Grammie-day, Fiona and I tried our hand at making Gak. I'd read about it on Pinterest and it sounded pretty straight-forward and easy. The ingredients were easy to get at my neighborhood Ream's on my way to pick up the kiddies.

But the reality of our first experiment...  should be classed as a Pinterest-Fail. The recipe I found made it sound like all you had to do was add all the stuff together and you got great gobs of gooey gak. Not so! We got something much firmer and more flubber-like! The only way I could get it to slime and stretch was by heating it in the microwave. But, not to worry, Miss Bitty and I (plus Auntie Ann who had stopped by for a quick visit) managed to have some fun with it anyway. We could roll it out and cut it. But it would break apart and wouldn't squish back together again.

So today, after some more research online about WHY borax and white glue make gak/slime, I determined that I would give it another try. I'd also pinned a recipe for bouncy balls made in a similar way.

Erm... it was fun for about NO MINUTES! It congealed too quickly to be a cohesive ball when I rolled it in my hands. AND when I tried my microwave trick it really killed it! All I got for my efforts was a photo-bombing dog and pink hands. Bah!

Now here is the funny part... all of this was inspired because my niece posted on Facebook that she's made play-doh. So when I had my second fail I pulled out a box of Jell-O because I just knew that's what she'd said her recipe was. Fortunately, after some sleuthing, I found that her recipe was made with Kool-Aid (well, it's kind of the same!) But I didn't have Kool-Aid on hand so I needed to make a trip to the store.

While I was browsing the glue aisle at Walmart I saw the Elmer's clear glue... HA! I'd give that gak one last (well, maybe not... maybe I'll keep doing it!) try using the knowledge I'd gathered in my research. I found some odd dude who talked about adding the borax solution A LITTLE AT A TIME until you reach the level of sliminess you want.

I'm still not totally happy with the results. I think I got impatient and added a little too much borax solution so this is a bit firmer than I'd like. But, BUT I did play with a ball of it for, erm, a long time!

So here are some pointers for anyone who'd like to learn from my experiments.
  • Use Steve Spangler's instructions but use clear glue if you want a transparent Gak. Although you can get a bottle of white glue for 44 cents at Walmart if you don't mind opaque!
  • Unless you want a whole boat load of slime/gak only make half a recipe. A 4 oz bottle of clear Elmer's made over a cup of Gak.
  • Add the borax solution s-l-o-w-l-y, a little at a time- don't use more than half to begin with.
  • Manipulate the slime with your hands for several minutes before deciding if you want your slime to turn into flubber! I added a little more and it got too stiff REAL FAST. T t still breaks instead of stretching if I try to stretch it too fast, but it will squish back together right away.
  • Next time I will also use less food coloring. Yikes... at least I stayed in the same color family with the pink and purple.

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