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7 Ways to Make Homemade Silly Putty

Erica Loop
July 13, 2017

Stick the store-bought stuff in a corner and try these science-based homemade silly putty projects!


What's more fun than homemade silly putty? It's sticky, stretchy and makes for an all-out science-based exploration! Sure, you could buy the prepackaged stuff at the store, but why not indulge your senses by whipping up your own batch? As a bonus, putting hands on the stuff helps your little learner boost fine motor skills, as well as other skills, such as measuring, mixing and creating. It's also safer than the homemade slime that's been making the rounds.

Are you ready to craft up some cool and kooky homemade silly putty projects? Keep in mind, you don't have to stick to the recipes. Letting kids explore, get messy and come to their own answers is what science is all about, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

  1. Basic Silly Putty
    While there are variations, a borax-based recipe is a top homemade silly putty choice. You'll find it scattered across Pinterest, on some of the best blogs and at your child's preschool. Combine equal parts borax and hot water with a bottle of school glue to get the basic putty. Keep in mind that borax is also a chemical cleaner. Never -- ever -- allow your child to taste or eat this putty product! Add a few drops of food color to mix up rainbow hues. Blend two of the primaries (red, yellow and blue) into a secondary (green, orange and purple) for an added science lesson!
  2. Liquid Starch Option
    If you don't want to use borax, swap in liquid starch like Coffee Cups and Crayons did. It's in the laundry aisle, but it's also a crafter's delight! Keep in mind that this silly putty isn't edible, so don't ever allow your child to taste it. You can add anything from tiny plastic dinosaurs to sequins to this recipe for more super fun putty play.
  3. Soapy and Silly
    This recipe from Smart School House adds liquid soap to the mix! Let your little scientist experiment with and discover its interesting properties by pulling, stretching and slathering it onto her hands.
  4. Glitter Putty
    Break out the ready-mixed glitter glue and follow the instructions from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom. Roll it up, make a ball and squish the super-stellar sparkly stuff. Create a few balls in different hues, designing a universe of putty planets.
  5. Let It Go Magic!
    Do you have an Elsa fan (from the movie "Frozen") on your hands? If so, chill out and get ready for some pretend play with this magical icy goo posted by Paging Fun Mums.
  6. Awesome Creations
    Mix up a batch of Epic Childhood's DIY super awesome putty and watch the colors glow. Add rainbow hues and let it shine on a light table!
  7. Princess Perfect
    Round up Disney princess dolls and match their colors to the glittery homemade silly putty shown in Views from the 'Ville's tutorial. Dress up the dolls in this gooey glitter concoction (and then wash it off of them!) or blend glitter colors to match your favorite princess's gown.

Are you looking for more fun? Read 101 Things to Do When Kids Say "I'm Bored" for other ideas to keep kids busy!

Erica Loop is a mom, parenting writer and educator with a master of science degree in child development. When she's not teaching, she's busy creating kids' activities for her blog, Mini Monets and Mommies.

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