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).


Amy Huntley is the owner/author of The Idea Room. A mother of five, who enjoys sharing her love of all things creative in hopes of inspiring other women and families. Connect with her on Google+, or read more of her posts.

Comments

  1. 1
    Brenbren says:

    That is suck a great idea. I am going to be making one for my son today!!!!

  2. 2
    Brenbren says:

    and by suck I me such… Oops, typo;)

  3. 3
    valerie says:

    How very cool! My kids are in for some fun today! Linked to you again!

    Thanks!!

  4. 4
    michellejohnnie says:

    So fun! linked to you again at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

  5. 5

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

  6. 6

    cool. love all these science crafts i've been seeing lately.

  7. 8
    [email protected] says:

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

  8. 9
    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!

  9. 10
    Vindiciti says:

    We are so going to make these! Sounds like fun for all of my kids, ages 12-2!

  10. 11

    you the man

  11. 12
    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 ?

  12. 13

    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.

  13. 14
    Melanie Morales says:

    We tried this today – it does not work.

  14. 15
    kinda of works says:

    you have to bend down to catch

  15. 16

    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!

  16. 17
    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.

  17. 18

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

  18. 19

    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

  19. 20

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] for a M&Ms color game. We’ll definitely be making our own bouncy balls, following these instructions from the Idea Room. Who knew you could do that?!? If it is as hot in August as it has [...]

  2. [...] 2011 By Angelina 5 Comments I came across this Tutorial On How To Make Your Own Bouncy Ball  Here Now… What child and even adult : ) wouldn’t want to make their very own… [...]

  3. [...] The kids and I made bouncy balls this week! It was fun! They always love measuring out ingredients and stirring things. We found the “recipe” on this blog Bouncy Ball-The Idea Room [...]

  4. [...] 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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