Tonawanda News — Then start stirring the mixture until it comes together and can’t be easily stirred any more. Scoop it up out of the bowl and roll it between your hands. It’s sticky, gooey and just plain messy, but eventually it sort of comes together into a smooth sort of ... stuff? You can tell right when the goop turns into a smoother, more homogeneous material. Roll it into a ball. Voila.
While I was fairly aware that this was probably not going to produce a ball of the grocery-store-vending-machine sort, this is where my 5-year-old was disappointed. He gave it a toss onto to the kitchen floor ...
He tried again. It bounced maybe a few inches. I encouraged him to bounce it on the kitchen counter, where it managed about the same. He played a bit, but quickly lost interest — although when he returned, the “balls” had sort of settled into pools of plastic-y goo that fascinated him.
Now, as a science experiment, it’s really sort of neat. According to information found on the American Chemistry Society website, the glue contains a polymer — polyvinyl acetate — that, when combined with Borax, forms a sort of polymer net. I’m years (OK, decades) away from my last chemistry class, but it had me Googling the background information online with interest.
So, if you’re looking for a science experiment that might just teach your kids a lesson about polymers (and already have Borax or don’t mind shelling out the money for it), you might want to give this a try.
If you’re looking to precisely recreate those sturdy dime-store balls so beloved by children everywhere ... just shell out the dollar. It’s less messy.
Jill Keppeler is a writer for the Tonawanda News. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her by searching for “Greater Niagara Newspapers” on Pinterest.com.• WHAT: Homemade bouncing ball • DIFFICULTY: Easy • TIME: Couple of minutes • RESULT: Depends. As a science experiment, yes. As a reusable toy, no.