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.
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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.
- 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?
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- Make your own bubble shooter at home!
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- 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!
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- 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?