Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Homemade Gak (Silly Putty) DIY



We had fun with science today. We made Gak, or Silly Putty, whatever you want to call it. It worked out pretty well. It's super easy to make, very little mess and a lot of fun. 

We tried changing the amount of Borax in the mixture to see what would happen in our quest for the perfect Gak (I'd call it Silly Putty but Gak is such a fun word ...). I'll give you the best recipe here first:



Homemade Gak

1/2 c White Glue
1/4 c cold water
1/4 c hot water
1/4 tsp Borax
food colouring


Mix 1/2 cup white glue and 1/4 cup of water together in a glass bowl, just because I think it's easier to clean the glue out of later. Next, mix 1/4 hot water separately with 1/4 tsp Borax. Then, when it's mostly dissolved, pour it into the glue mixture. You'll see it start to make the glue stringy right away. It creates a polymer chain, meaning that the molecules in the glue stick together.



It immediately starts to separate and get stringy.



Mix it around until most of the water is absorbed, then take it out of the bowl and keep squishing and squeezing it by hand. The longer you play with it, the drier it gets. To a point, anyways.

DIY homemade Gak (Silly Putty), a homeschool science experiment with polymer chains.


The first batch we made was the purple one. I didn't want to have a food colouring mess so we only added one drop. Not enough. It turned out very pale. We also started with 1/2 tsp of Borax. That wasn't bad, but it wasn't as stretchy and nice as the green batch in the end.

DIY homemade Gak (Silly Putty), a homeschool science experiment with polymer chains.


The second batch we made was the blue one. We used 4 drops of food colouring and that made a nice bright colour. I asked the kids whether we should add more or less Borax and they agreed that more would make it more like store bought silly putty so we added 1 tsp of Borax. It did make it stiffer and hold it's shape better, but it breaks much more easily.

DIY homemade Gak (Silly Putty), a homeschool science experiment with polymer chains.



Batch number three was green, and it was the best by far. Only 1/4 tsp of Borax made it much more malleable and stretchy. We added about 8 drops of food colouring because the green seemed to need it. It's nice and bright.

DIY homemade Gak (Silly Putty), a homeschool science experiment with polymer chains.


They are all fun to play with. The blue can still be made to stretch out quite a bit, as you can see. . .

DIY homemade Gak (Silly Putty), a homeschool science experiment with polymer chains.


It really was quick and easy and well worth the play time we're getting out of it. We've got another recipe to test out, hopefully tomorrow. We'll keep you posted! Ha ha, blogger joke. Get it?

DIY homemade Gak (Silly Putty), a homeschool science experiment with polymer chains.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You might also like: