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!

text: Bouncy Ball Homemade - Kids Activities Blog - finished DIY bouncy ball project for kids shown in blue color on a white background
Let’s make our own bouncy ball!

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

DIY Bouncy Ball Step 3 - diy for kids make a bouncy ball collage - Kids Activities Blog
Making a homemade bouncy ball is pretty easy!

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.

DIY bouncy ball instructions step 1 - using two cups - one for water and the other for dry ingredients - Kids Activities Blog
Grab 2 cups! You will need both to make a bouncy ball recipe.

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.

DIY bouncy ball for kids step 2 - ingredients for diy for kids make a bouncy ball in the bottom of the second cup - Kids Activities Blog
Step 2 adds in the color so your homemade bouncy ball is vibrant!

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.  

Voila!

Super easy. Super bouncy.

Yield: 1 ball

How to Make a Bouncy Ball

diy-for-kids-make-a-bouncy-ball-collage

Use household ingredients to make a DIY bouncy ball - part science experiment & part toy, kids will want to help!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $5

Materials

  • 2 Tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Borax
  • 1 Tablespoon glue
  • 1/2 Tablespoon corn starch
  • (Optional) food coloring

Tools

  • 2 cups
  • measuring spoons
  • wood craft stick
  • Plastic bag for storage

Instructions

  1. In one of the cups, pour the water and Borax and stir until the Borax is fully dissolved.
  2. In the other cup, combine the glue, cornstarch, food coloring and 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture from the 1st cup.
  3. Let stand for 15 seconds.
  4. Stir the mixture until it becomes difficult to stir.
  5. 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.

Make play recipes like the DIY bouncy ball with this collection of homemade play dough, clay, slime and more.
Click here for some more fun things to make with household ingredients!

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 did your homemade bouncy ball turn out?



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35 Comments

  1. 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?

  2. Granddaughter and I just made this but it is gooey. I followed it as you said and do not know what to do now

  3. This is a cool idea, I will share it on Pinterest and will try this when my son is a bit older. 🙂