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Simple Slime

Let’s craft some slime! This is a fool-proof recipe for making your own slime. It will never fail. We promise!

Download a printable PDF with these instructions.

Materials

  • 1 plastic cup
  • 1 popsicle stick
  • 1 plastic bag
  • tablespoon(s)
  • water
  • glue
  • borax solution
  • food coloring
  • mix-ins

Procedure

  1. Add 1 pump (about 1 tablespoon) of glue to the cup.
  2. Now add 1 tablespoon of water to the cup, and stir with the popsicle stick. This is the glue solution.
  3. Add 1-2 drops of food coloring to the glue solution, if you wish.
  4. If mix-ins, such as glitter, are available, stir some into the glue solution.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of the borax solution to the glue solution, and stir. Keep stirring until it gets thick. Your slime is done when you can pick up your popsicle stick and most of the slime comes with it! If that doesn’t happen, carefully add a bit more borax solution.
  6. Once the slime is nice and thick, pull it off the stick, and knead with your hands. It should get less sticky.
  7. When you are done kneading, place the slime in a plastic bag for safekeeping.

To scale for a full bottle of glue (4 oz) use 4 tbsp water and 4 tbsp borax solution, and mix in a bowl instead of a cup.

We make large batches of the borax solution by mixing 4 tablespoons of borax with 2 quarts of hot water in a plastic container. Shake the container until the borax dissolves, and you’ll have enough borax solution to make a LOT of slime!

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Fastball Reaction Time

We are working some fun activities for upcoming events that involve sports, and wanted to share one with you. In this activity, kids can test their reaction times, to see if they are fast enough to play with the Bowie Baysox. One of their pitchers, Tanner Scott, can throw a 100mph fastball. How fast would the batter have to react to hit such a pitch? Download the Fastball Reaction Time Worksheet (PDF), and then point a browser to our Fastball Reaction Time Tester to try it. If your reaction times are consistently fast enough to get a hit, you might be Baysox material.

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Make a Paper Torch

Want to make a Minecraft-inspired paper torch? We do this with some of our camps, and the resulting torches are not only pretty cool, they tend to last a while, thanks to the lamination. They are not indestructible, but can actually be used. My daughter made one, and then used it for camping!

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Materials & Equipment

Procedure

  1. Download our paper craft torch printable, and print on legal paper. Don’t use card stock if you plan to laminate!
  2. Use some scissors to cut out the torch. Try to stay pretty close to the edges.
  3. Laminate the cut-out, and cut again. Stay close to the edges, but don’t cut all the way to the paper, or the lamination might peel off later.
  4. Fold on the solid lines, and use double-sided tape to secure all except for the “top” end. The top end is the part that looks like flame, and not wood.  
  5. If you are not using the optional flash light, secure the top end with double-sided tape. Otherwise use some velcro on the outer flap of the top end, so it can be opened/closed to insert flashlight or battery-powered tea light.
  6. If you wish to use the flashlight, stuff the torch with some small pieces of crumpled paper, and place the flashlight inside. It should shine through the lighter top part, making it look like a real torch!

Important: If you don’t want to laminate, you should use card stock. Just be aware that if you use the flashlight, it might not illuminate very well.

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Lava Buckets

Let’s craft some lava! This activity lets you see:

  • How molecules are attracted to other molecules that are like them, such as oil to oil and water to water.
  • How density affects liquids.
  • What happens when you add water to citric acid and sodium bicarbonate.

Important: These instructions are for a small test tube (10 mL) of lava, which is the perfect size for when we do this at events. You can make a much more impressive “bucket” with a 1-liter bottle, and proportionally more water, oil, and food coloring.

Download a PDF copy of these instructions.

Materials

  • 1 plastic tube with lid
  • oil – Vegetable oil works well
  • water
  • food coloring
  • small piece of a fizzing tablet (citric acid + baking soda AKA Alka Seltzer)

Procedure

  1. Place your tube in a holder, or ask a friend to hold it for you. It’s much easier to add stuff to it when you don’t have to also hold it.
  2. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of water to the plastic tube.
  3. Now add oil to the tube until it’s nearly full . Does it mix with the water?
  4. Add 3-5 drops of food coloring to the tube. Where do those drops go?
  5. Now add the piece of fizzing tablet. What happens?
  6. When your lava bucket stops fizzing, screw the lid on, so it doesn’t spill. You can add more tablet pieces later, to make the lava “flow” again. Please don’t add the lid until the fizzing has mostly stopped, or it might pop off from the pressure!

PLEASE DON’T DRINK THE LAVA!!!

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Spawn Eggs (Bath Bombs)

Let’s craft some spawn eggs, or as your parents probably call them, bath bombs! This activity won’t show you anything, until you actually use the spawn eggs, but then you’ll get to see what happens when you add water to citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. The eggs will fizz with the release of carbon dioxide.

Download a PDF copy of these instructions.

Important: This only makes 2-4 eggs. We use such small amounts because we do this activity at events, and larger quantities would take longer and make more of a mess. If you want to make a larger batch, you can! Just use a large, glass bowl for mixing, instead of the small container with a lid. You will have to stir instead of shake.

Materials

  • Container with lid
  • Popsicle stick
  • Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
  • Citric acid – You can sometimes find this with canning supplies, but it’s usually cheaper to buy online
  • Witch hazel or water
  • Oil (optional, we use almond and/or sunflower)
  • Food coloring (optional, if you want color)
  • Epsom salt (optional)
  • Essential oil (optional, if you want it to smell good)

Procedure

  1. Add the following to the container, cover, and shake:
    1. 1/4 cup baking soda
    2. 2 tbsp citric acid
    3. 1-1/2 teaspoons Epsom salt (optional)
  2. (Optional) Add a squirt (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) of oil and 1-3 drops of essential oil to the container, and shake some more.
  3. (Optional) Add 4-6 drops of food coloring, and shake again.
  4. Check color, scent, and consistency. If you see big chunks, break them with the popsicle stick, and shake some more.
  5. Now spray 1-3 times with water or witch hazel, mixing with the popsicle stick each time, until the mixture can be formed into a ball.
  6. Form into 2-4 “eggs” and allow to dry for 24 hours before using. If you have a spare mini-figure, place one inside of each egg when forming, so it will “hatch” when used. We sometimes use mini cupcake liners for the eggs. Another fun way to form the eggs is to place them in Easter eggs, which you then tape and/or rubber-band closed.
  7. Store in an enclosed container, in a cool, dry place. Drop one in the tub before you take a bath, and enjoy the bubbles. If you added a mini-figure, it will be revealed as the egg dissolves.

PLEASE DON’T EAT THE EGGS!!!