Make a Bouncy Ball

My boys loved making these “bouncy” balls. They are not super bouncy like the plastic super balls that became popular when I was a kid, but they are pretty bouncy and fun to play with. We discovered that on the carpet, they have a lot more bounce then they do on the kitchen floor. I ended up with this recipe when I was teaching science and can not remember where I got it.

To make these, you will need:

Borax (found in laundry section)
warm water
corn starch
glue (clear glue makes a see transparent ball and white glue makes an opaque ball)
2 small mixing cups
a stirring stick (plastic spoon)
food coloring (optional)

Label one cup ‘Borax Solution’ and the other cup ‘Ball Mixture’.

Pour 2 tablespoons warm water and 1/2 teaspoon borax powder into the cup labeled ‘Borax Solution’. Stir the mixture to dissolve the borax. Add food coloring, if desired.

Pour 1 tablespoon of glue into the cup labeled ‘Ball Mixture’. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the borax solution you just made and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Do not stir.

Allow the ingredients to interact on their own for 10-15 seconds and then stir them together to fully mix. Once the mixture becomes impossible to stir, take it out of the cup and start molding the ball with your hands.

The ball will start out sticky and messy, but will solidify as you knead it.

Once the ball is less sticky, continue rolling between your hands until it is smooth and round!

You can store your plastic ball in a sealed ziploc bag when you are finished playing with it. (The ball tends to flatten out a bit when sitting and does not normally last longer than a couple of days before drying out).


  1. BBLiz says

    Fun, fun, fun! Will put this one in my file to do when the boys are a little older… thanks!

  2. [email protected] says

    This looks like so much fun! I love projects with mix and stir! I'll be linking.

  3. laurasuekcc says

    My daughter received a bouncy ball making kit for her birthday. Both of my girls loved making them! I am happy to find this so that we can make them again at home!

  4. Bouncy Balls Blog :-) says

    Wow thanks for this blog… i always wondered if there was a way to make home made bouncy balls… any idea how they makes the ones like these bouncy balls ?

  5. Lette says

    I tried the experiment with my 6 year old for a first grade project and we can’t get the ball to bounce, even on carpet. Any suggestions? The ball also flattens out when stored in the ziploc bag. We reshaped it and hoped it would bounce after drying overnight, but no luck.

  6. Sarah says

    Made these today with my almost 6 yr old son. We made one red, one blue ball and used both regular school glue as well as the clear glue. There was no difference other than color between the two balls. They do bounce better on carpet. Having lots of fun-thanks for the idea!

  7. Anonymouse says

    My children have made these before and if you store them with a slightly damp paper towel in the baggy they last a little longer.

  8. Rachael says

    Tried this last night… I even did it multiple times to make sure we did it right… But I still didn’t work :(

  9. Devon says

    I just tried this with a group at an art museum and have a few suggestions:

    – We found the recipe worked better without cornstarch….at all
    – Wait about 5 seconds to begin mixing with a spoon. It will be a gluey, pimply (with popping!) consistency for about 20 seconds
    – Take out and begin rolling with your hands
    – If it remains wet and sticky, even after rolling into a ball, stick into borax solution cup, roll around for a bit, take out and roll in your hand again
    – Try to get a uniform, spherical shape early if you can, as it will be hard to achieve when the ball gets stiffer

    I think I’ll still try it with the children at my next camp :D

  10. swag says


  11. Hayden says

    I am a teacher in New Zealand and have tried this with my class – they are really keen on kitchen science.
    Unfortunately, we couldn’t for the life of us produce a functioning bouncy ball.

    I have a feeling that the issue may be some of the replacement materials we are using – being in New Zealand, it is hard to get our hands on Elmers glue (so we have simply used school grade PVA) , and I have been using Edmonds Corn Flour instead of Cornstarch. Do you think any of these replacement materials may be affecting things – all I can seem to make is a gooey mess that does not harden.

    • says

      I have tried it with a different brand of glue and had a bad outcome too. So I am guessing that might be the problem. I am sorry you had trouble with it!


  1. […] And, it was a success!  We ended up with several bouncy balls of several colors.  Apparently, they will only last a few days, which means we need to go play with them NOW!  Here is the recipe.  (Original link can be found here.) […]

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