Homemade Bouncy Balls Tutorial

This article was originally published on Life’s Carousel. Reproduced here with permission.

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.

Homemade bouncy balls

We found a few recipes online for making our own 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!

NOT So Bouncy Balls!

Most homemade bouncy ball recipes call for cornstarch and white glue. Here is a photo of the balls we made using this recipe.

DIY Bouncy Balls

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.

SUPER Homemade Bouncy Balls

So here it is! Our recipe for super bouncy balls using just THREE ingredients (and one of those is water!).

Ingredients

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 used 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 afterward!

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 Elmer’s glue that is different from the generic glues.

How to Make Super Bouncy Balls

Step 1: Making Borax Solution

DIY Bouncy Ball

(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

How to make bouncy balls

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!

Homemade bouncy balls

As soon as the glue hits the borax solution it will start to harden. Gently squeeze and squish the glueball 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 homemade 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.

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