DIY For Kids {Make a Bouncy Ball}

Household ingredients can be used to make inexpensive DIY for kids projects.  Did you know that your kids can even use household ingredients to make a bouncy ball?  This is pretty cool!

diy for kids make a bouncy ball

DIY for Kids

Who knew you could make a homemade bouncy ball that *actually* bounces?! And that you could make it out of household items? The kids and I absolutely loved doing this science experiment together.  My toddler was a little too young to understand the process, but he loved the product!  My preschooler, on the other hand, was raring to take control of the entire experiment.

Experiments with Borax

A quick word of common sense caution before the details on making a DIY bouncy ball: Although experiments with Borax make great DIY for kids projects, , Borax is not edible, so don’t let you toddler chew on the ball.

Materials to Make a Bouncy Ball

*Note:  The first time we did this experiment we followed Anne Marie Helmenstine’s instructions on About.com here.  We were disappointed that 1) clear glue did not make a translucent bouncy ball and 2) the ball wasn’t that bouncy.  So, we modified the experiment a few times until we got a Super Bouncy Ball. The ingredients listed below are from the original recipe, but we encourage you to try our version, which reduces the cornstarch to 1/2 tablespoonadds the food coloring to the second cup instead of the first cup, and mixes the second cup’s ingredients first before adding the borax solution from the first cup.

  • two cups
  • measuring spoons
  • a coffee stir stick (or something to stir the solutions)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon borax (find it in the laundry detergent section of your local store)
  • 1 tablespoon glue
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • food coloring (optional)
  • plastic bag (for storing your ball)

How To Make A Bouncy Ball

Step 1

Pour the water and borax into the first cup and stir the mixture until it is dissolved.  We used just boiled water from the kettle, so it was more hot than warm.

make a bouncy ball

Step 2

Pour the glue, cornstarch, food coloring, and 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture from the first cup into the second cup.  We got the best results when we mixed the glue, cornstarch, and food coloring first, and then poured in the borax mixture.

ingredients for diy for kids make a bouncy ball

Step 3

Let the ingredients in the second cup interact on their own for about 15 seconds, then stir.

diy for kids make a bouncy ball collage

Step 4

Once the mixture becomes difficult to stir, scoop it out of the cup, and roll it into a ball.  Voila!

Super easy. Super bouncy.

We did a lot of fast rolling and watched the ball skid around the kitchen floor, bumping into cabinets and picking up momentum as it banged off every hard surface, including the carpeted ones. We even got bounces as high as three feet!

The first ball we made using the About.com recipe crumbled if you threw it with too much force, but the ball made with our recipe was much more pliable and bouncy. We stored it in a plastic bag for several days and it stayed fresh until it simply picked up too much dirt and we had to throw it out.

This is definitely an experiment we will be doing again.  Do you have any favorite kids activities that involve experiments with household item?  Here are a few DIY for kids experiments with Borax and other household items that the Quirky Mommas have tried:

recipes for play




Chrissy About Chrissy

Chrissy shares play & learning activities for toddlers and preschoolers, baking & craft ideas for parents, and her unconventional parenting thoughts at The Outlaw Mom (TM) Blog. You can also find her debating about work-life balance at The Verdict and turning traditional thoughts on their head at Think Inside The Box.