How to Make a DIY Bouncy Ball with Kids
Today we are making a bouncy ball with kids. Here at Kids Activities Blog, we love when household ingredients can be used to make inexpensive toys like this DIY bouncy balls idea. Kids can learn how to make a bouncy ball with this bouncy ball recipe with adult supervision. Making your own bouncy ball is easy and pretty cool!
How to Make a Bouncy Ball at Home
First, I didn’t even know that you COULD make a bouncy ball at home, so this was super fun for not only my kids, but me as well! Oh, and our homemade bouncy ball ACTUALLY bounces!
Related: More ways to make bouncy balls
We found that everything we needed to make a DIY bouncy ball at home was already in our cupboards. The kids and I absolutely loved doing this simple science experiment together.
This article contains affiliate links.
Supplies Needed To Make DIY Bouncy Ball
- two plastic cups
- measuring spoons
- wooden craft 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
- 1/2 tablespoon corn starch
- food coloring (optional)
- plastic bag (for storing your ball)
Steps to Make a DIY Bouncy Ball
Step 1 – Homemade Bouncy Ball
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. Be careful with this step if you are working with kids.
Step 2 – Homemade Bouncy Ball
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.
Step 3 – Homemade Bouncy Ball
Let the ingredients in the second cup interact on their own for about 15 seconds, then stir.
Step 4 – Homemade Bouncy Ball
Once the mixture becomes difficult to stir, scoop it out of the cup, and roll it into a ball.
Super easy. Super bouncy.
How to Make a Bouncy Ball
Use household ingredients to make a DIY bouncy ball - part science experiment & part toy, kids will want to help!
- 2 Tablespoons warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon Borax
- 1 Tablespoon glue
- 1/2 Tablespoon corn starch
- (Optional) food coloring
- 2 cups
- measuring spoons
- wood craft stick
- Plastic bag for storage
- In one of the cups, pour the water and Borax and stir until the Borax is fully dissolved.
- In the other cup, combine the glue, cornstarch, food coloring and 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture from the 1st cup.
- Let stand for 15 seconds.
- Stir the mixture until it becomes difficult to stir.
- Scoop it out of the cup and roll it into a ball.
Our Experience Making Homemade Bouncy Balls
The first time we did this experiment we followed Anne Marie Helmenstine’s bouncy ball recipe instructions on About.com. We were disappointed in the results because:
- The clear glue did not make a translucent bouncy ball
- The homemade bouncy ball wasn’t that bouncy.
Changes We Made in the Bouncy Ball Recipe
So, we modified the experiment a few times until we got a Super Bouncy Ball. This can be a fun part of making this a kitchen science project for everyone involved!
The ingredients listed in this article are our new and improved recipe version. The changes we made were:
- Reduced the cornstarch to 1/2 tablespoon
- Added the food coloring to the second cup instead of the first cup
- Mixed the second cup’s ingredients first before adding the borax solution from the first cup
We will continue to update this post when we find bouncy ball recipe improvements.
Is it Safe to Use Borax in Science Experiments?
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.
Playing with Our Homemade Bouncy Ball
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 original recipe crumbled if you threw it with too much force, but the ball made with our recipe outlined above was much more pliable and bouncy.
Storing the DIY Bouncy Ball
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.
DIY Science Experiments for Kids
Making a bouncy ball is definitely an experiment we will be doing again. Do you have any favorite kids activities that involve experiments with household item?
- How to make silly putty – here are a bunch of ideas for making silly putty at home!
- Make your own bubble shooter at home!
- We love playing with science and have a collection of over 50 scientific games kids can play.
- One of the ways science can be full of fun is when it is gross stuff! Check out the learning fun with grossology science.
- Check out this fun DIY magnet science project that uses ferrofluid.
- In this DIY science experiment, we build a paper bridge and then test it!
- Check out all these fun science experiments for kids that you can do at home or in the classroom.
- We have curated the best science fair ideas for kids around!
- One of my favorite home science experiments is the milk and food coloring experiment that is part science & part art!
- Find all of our science for kids articles!
- Our recommended STEM activities, science activities for kids & science toys!
- And beyond science we have over 650 learning activities for kids to explore!
- Learn how to make bouncy balls! Making your own toys is so easy and fun to do!
How did your homemade bouncy ball turn out?
I really appreciate with your efforts.You are doing so good job.I will wait for your next post..:-)
How long dies it take to dry?
I just tried this with a group at an art museum and have a few suggestions:
– We found the recipe worked better without cornstarch ¦.at all
– Wait about 5 seconds to begin mixing with a spoon. It will be a gluey, pimply (with popping!) consistency for about 20 seconds
– Take out and begin rolling with your hands
– If it remains wet and sticky, even after rolling into a ball, stick into borax solution cup, roll around for a bit, take out and roll in your hand again
– Try to get a uniform, spherical shape early if you can, as it will be hard to achieve when the ball gets stiffer
Do you still only use 1/2 a teaspoon of the borax solution, even if you pour it over the glue/food dye? OR do you pour all of the borax solution over the glue? thanks!
Thank you so much for this! Using it for church VBS craft. Tested out the about.com method and was so disappointed, but tried it the way Devon suggested and yielded great result. Ball really bounces! Apparently cornstarch was the bounce enemy. 🙂
Thanks for the info! Battled with the about.com recipe, but Devon’s suggestion to use it without the cornstarch works excellent!
Wow what a good idea! Thanks for sharing! Sharon popping by fro WFMW
Fantastic! I’m so doing this with my two year-old!
My kids would go crazy over this! Thanks so much for sharing at After School!
Great project! I’m pinning this to my kid board. Thanks for sharing! Stop by my Friday’s Five Features and link up this post (and others)! http://diy-vintage-chic.blogspot.com/2013/09/fridays-five-features-no-7.html
Ok. I have to try this! I don’t have any kids but I got to see if this works! Mom used to make us play dough but never a cool bouncy ball! Thanks for sharing. Come visit me sometime at http://www.lifeawayfromtheofficechair.blogspot.com. Love your blog!
I definitely want to try it for science. Thanks for sharing with Afterschool!
How fun is this? I think I will try this myself because you are never too old for a bouncy ball session!
I love this! Thanks for linking up to the Block Party. Pinning 🙂
That’s really cool! What kid wouldn’t want to make their own bouncy ball?
What fun! Thanks for linking up to Tuesday Tots. I’m featuring this lovely post this week on Learn with Play at home 🙂
Such a cute and wonderful idea! Thanks so much for sharing it at the Less Laundry, More Linking party.
LOVE this! Pinned and buffered =)
What a fun activity to do with the kiddos. I’m sure Reagan will love this.
Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. 🙂
¤ ´ ¨)
¸. ¢* ´
( ¸ ¤ Lanaya | xoxo
Featured this on Mom’s Library this week! Glad to know it works, so we can try it sometime!
This is a cool idea, I will share it on Pinterest and will try this when my son is a bit older. 🙂
So cool. My 4 year old would love this! Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x
My daughter will love doing this
This is too cool! I never knew you could make a bouncy ball. Wow!
This is great I can’t wait to try it out!
how long to dry??????????????
roughly three hours xoxoxox
Thank you so much for great idea! I will try this with my 6 years old son.
Granddaughter and I just made this but it is gooey. I followed it as you said and do not know what to do now
I tried this until I my whole(12oz) can of cornstarch was gone. Every single time I tried, it just crumbled in my hands and I was left with a silly string-like consistency. It would all go down hill after I took the clump out and started rolling it into a ball…I have followed the directions to a T.
Although all the other “recipes” I followed called for the first mixture to be the warm water, borax and corn starch and then glue and food coloring in the second and then pour the water, cornstarch and borax mixture into the glue&food coloring mixture.
I used Betty Crocker neon gel food colors, could that be the problem? Then I used 20 mule team for the borax and
Clabber girl brand for the corn starch (fortified with calcium?) ingredients in that brand are corn starch and calcium sulfate?
Can anybody offer help?
I think this is pretty idea.
I made a wrong mix, so i made great stuff instead of a boucy ball.