Today we are making a bouncy ball for kids!
We love when household ingredients can be used to make inexpensive DIY for kids projects. 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!
This DIY bouncy ball recipe is easy to make and pretty cool!
DIY Home Science Project for Kids
Who knew you could make a homemade bouncy ball that *actually* bounces?!
And that you could make a bouncy ball at home with stuff we have in the cupboards?
Related: We have a whole collection of homemade kids bouncy ball ideas that you can make at home!
The kids and I absolutely loved doing this simple science experiment together.
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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.
How to Make a Bouncy Ball
The first time we did this experiment we followed Anne Marie Helmenstine’s bouncy ball recipe instructions on About.com here.
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 below are our version, which reduces the cornstarch to 1/2 tablespoon, adds 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.
We will continue to update this post when we find bouncy ball recipe improvements.
Supplies Needed for 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.
- 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.
Super easy. Super bouncy.
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!
And beyond science we have over 650 learning activities for kids to explore!
How did your homemade bouncy ball turn out?