Summer is a great time to relax with the kids, but the boredom can kick in pretty quick! It feels like I’m constantly having to come up with fun activities to keep my three munchkins amused.
We’ve had a lot of fun this summer making different types of slime (this Super Easy Glitter Slime is still our favorite), and so we have quite a lot of slime making supplies now.
We found a few recipes online for making our own DIY bouncy balls using slime ingredients, so it seemed a perfect kids craft to try.
We tried a recipe that we found online and we weren’t very impressed with the results. The balls didn’t look very nice and they just weren’t that bouncy.
We decided to experiment and spent the morning trying different things until we found a recipe that makes SUPER BOUNCY BALLS that also look great!
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NOT So Bouncy Balls!
Most DIY bouncy ball recipes call for cornstarch and white glue. Here is a photo of the balls we made using this recipe.
Yes, they were fun to make, but when we bounced them they bounced maybe 5″ at the most. Not what we were expecting!
Some of the instructions we found even talked about mixing two colors together to make tie-dye. Errr… not so much! They just turned into browny-green blobs!
Time for us to try something different!
We played around with the qualities of cornstarch and glue, even the order that we mixed them together in. But we didn’t get very good results.
DIY Bouncy Balls
So here it is! Our recipe for super bouncy balls using just THREE ingredients (and one of those is water!).
- 1/2 Cup of Warm Water
- 1 TBSP of Borax
- 1 to 2 TBSP of Clear Elmer’s Glue (or Elmer’s Clear Glitter Glue)
A couple of notes on these ingredients
Borax: I talked about this on my Glitter Slime post, but I wanted to repeat it here.
I know there has been a lot reported lately about Borax not being safe to use in crafts. I’ve used it for many years making slime (and other crafts), and never had any problems (made it with dozens of children). I’ve researched it a little and found that the overwhelming advice is that it is safe to use, IF used properly.
- This project is not suitable for children under 3 years old.
- Only use a very small amount and make sure you dissolve it fully before using. Burns or skin irritation might occur if it is use without diluting it first.
- Do not use if you or your child have any sort of skin condition or sensitive skin (or wear gloves to mix it).
- Supervise children and make sure they don’t put their hands in their mouth after using it.
- And with all craft projects, make sure you wash your hands afterwards!
Glitter Glue: After we used up our bottle of Elmer’s Glitter Glue, we still wanted to make more (addictive!) so we tried using the dollar store glitter glue. Nope! It just didn’t work. There’s something about the Elmer’s glue that is different to the generic glues.
How to Make Super Bouncy Balls
Step 1: Making Borax Solution
(It’s probably best for a grown-up to do this step.)
You want to stir together the 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of borax, until it is completely dissolved (add more water if it doesn’t all dissolve).
If the water is hot, allow it to cool.
Step 2: Add Your Glue
Next slowly pour your desired amount of glue into the bowl of borax solution. The more glue you use, the bigger the ball! (We used about 2 tablespoons of glue)
To get this light blue translucent glitter super bouncy ball, we combined clear and glitter glue together as we poured it into the borax solution.
Step 3: Squish and Squeeze!
As soon as the glue hits the borax solution it will start to harden. Gently squeeze and squish the glue ball until it is no longer sticky.
Remove from the borax solution and roll between your hands to make it ball shaped.
Note: The glue is going to go hard, not the borax solution. You will be left with a bowl of solution, so you can repeat the process and make as many super bouncy balls as you like!
That’s it! How easy is that? And they really do BOUNCE!
A word of warning. These super bouncy balls are basically very very thick slime. So if you leave them for any length of time they will slowly go flat and make a disc. But it’s very simple to just roll them in your hand to make them ball shaped again.
29 thoughts on “Make Your Own Super Bouncy Balls”
Wow! These look so cool, I’m going to have to try this with my nephews!
I know right. Mine came out amazing.
My kids are going to LOVE this activity when I surprise them with it during our next rainy day! How do the balls cope with heat and humidity?
I live in Florida and we made them this summer – no problems with heat and humidity. They do dry out eventually, so you might want to keep them in a ziploc bag. They do crumble if they are thrown too hard. My youngest threw his really hard and the tile floor and it broke! But it was easy to pick up the pieces and mold it back together again.
How cool is this article! And its also super easy! i may just borrow this easy recipe for fall camp for the kiddos!
Glad you like it. I want to experiment and see if I can come up with some cool ones for Halloween to do in my children’s classroom parties! Much more fun than making slime!
Wow! The recipe for the bouncy balls seems simple and fun. A great project for kids and their families or other loved ones.
It really is so easy. I really enjoyed shaping the one I made and making it as smooth as possible.
These are somethings which the kids would really love to have while at home. Thanks so much for sharing this.
Can the kids tear them apart? Or does it go back together
If they are rough with the ball, then it will tear apart. It is possible to stick the pieces back together, but it does take some time. The fun of this project is making it, the ball is only really a temporary toy.
Will white glue work?
Yes, the balls will just be a solid color.
Hello, could I add a pinch of glitter to he mix? We don’t have glitter glue on hand.
Yes, that would probably work. Definitely worth trying!
My daughter loves making slime…and she and her brother are nuts about bouncy balls.
I bet this would be a big hit with both of them. What a fun idea!
Oh, I’m sure they will love it! Just a warning that the bouncy balls aren’t like the store bought ones and can’t be thrown hard, or they might break (although you can press the pieces back together again).
Hi, i was wondering after rolling the glue once it’s hardened up, how can I prevent it from having small cracks in them? I rolled them really good and once it dried up more I noticed a small crack in it which prevents it a bit as it bounces and ends up going another direction? How can I keep it from getting a crack once I make another one? And to keep them a round shape what can I do for that? Thanks. I’m trying to apply this project with an elementary after school program thanks .
They tend to crack easily if you’ve added too much borax to the mixture. You want to add enough for it to go firm, but not too hard. It can be a bit of a balancing act to get it right. But you could even make that part of the activity – do one batch with less borax and one batch with more and talk about what the difference is. Also, the brand of glue does make a difference. I find that Elmers glue is the best. The cheap dollar store brand doesn’t work as well.
They won’t stay round over a long period of time, because they are basically still a liquid, just a very very thick one. So over time, they will lose their shape. My kids like reshaping them each time we played with them, as they would make them different sizes etc.
Approximately how much glue did ou use for each ball? I anticipate using this for an after school tutoring program, about 12 kiddos
Good question! It depends on the size of the ball you want to make. But 1/4 cup should be enough for each ball. So you will need 3 or 4 regular sized glue bottles for 12 kids.
Hi, my son and I made couple of these bouncy balls for a school project. We made them last Friday. Stored them in a ziploc bag. On Monday morning we found the balls were broken into pieces. We tried to get them together to reshape them but couldn’t. Do you have any suggestion how to fix them? Appreciate any help! Thanks in advance!
Hi. Sometimes it’s possible to reshape the pieces back together, but if you are finding that the pieces won’t stick together, then, unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do. If you think of the bouncy balls as basically very hard slime, once slime dries out it’s not possible to re-wet it. The same is true of the bouncy balls – once they have dried out, it’s not possible to shape the pieces back together. It’s kinda sad, because kids love them so much, but now you can have fun making some more and experimenting with different colors or glitter!
How long do you keep the glue ball in the solution?
Not very long. I guess less than a minute. Basically, you smush it with your hands in the solution, so just keep going until it feels firm and keeps its shape.
How do you store the balls so they stay bouncy?
You can keep them in the fridge for a day or 2. But these aren’t designed to be a long-lasting toy. We generally play with them for a few hours and then throw them away.
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