Inside: We are using sand, shaving cream, and sparkly glue to create amazing shark slime. Not only is shark slime a fun activity, but it’s also a great way to teach your kids some science concepts. Scrolls down to download all the wonderful shark printables!
Shark Week is just around the corner. (Are you as excited as we are?!) I think it’s the perfect time to share some fun and educational activities with your kids.
Making your own shark slime is a great way to learn about science and get hands-on with the kids. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps to create your own shark slime and share some interesting science facts about slime.
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What is slime?
Shark slime is a type of slime that is created to resemble the texture and color of a shark. We will use sand, shaving cream, liquid starch, and colored glue to achieve our goal, and it’s going to be super fun, I promise you!
But what exactly is slime?
Slime is a non-Newtonian fluid, which means that it behaves differently than a normal liquid or solid. Depending on the force applied to it, slime can either flow like a liquid or be firm like a solid. It is created by mixing a base material such as glue or cornstarch with a liquid activator such as borax, liquid starch, or contact lens solution.
Slime can come in all colors and textures, from fluffy to crunchy, and it’s a popular DIY activity for kids of all ages.
But why make shark slime specifically?
Let’s find out!
Why Make Shark Slime?
Shark slime is not only fun, but it’s also a great educational activity for Shark Week. By making shark slime, kids can learn about the unique texture and color of sharks while also learning about science concepts like non-Newtonian fluids, friction, polymers, molecules, and cause-and-effect.
It’s also a great way to encourage creativity and imagination, as kids can customize their slime to resemble different shark species. Plus, it’s a hands-on activity that will keep kids engaged and entertained for hours.
So, let’s dive into the science behind the activity and learn more about the special ingredients and supplies needed to make this amazing shark slime!
The Science of Shark Slime!
To make your own shark slime, you will need a few basic ingredients and supplies. In this section, I will talk about the science of
Here’s what you’ll need:
First and foremost, you’ll need glue. Clear or white glue will both work for this project. Just add a bit of food coloring to give your slime that classic shark look. Choose shades of gray, blue, or green to create a realistic color. However, today I skipped regular glue in favor of Glow-in-the-Dark Blue Glue. Why? Because I was craving an even more WOW factor! You can find every type of glue at any craft store or office supply store. Our favorite brand is Elmer’s (nope, they’re not paying me to say this 🙂
The substance that we call glue is actually polymer, a synthetic polymer with the formula (C4H6O2)n. It’s made from a combination of two main things, polyvinyl alcohol and water (water modifies the glue’s consistency). It can also have other ingredients, like ethanol, acetone, glitter, colorings, etc. As a polymer, glue consists of many long flexible molecules that flow past each other like a liquid.
Do you want some printables to go along with this activity? Download them below!
Next, you’ll need some sand. Shark skin feels like sandpaper. It’s made of tiny “teeth” called placoid scales or dermal denticles. The scales all point towards the shark’s tail, which helps it to experience less friction as it moves quickly through the water. Friction makes it hard to move through the water. If you’ve ever pushed your open hand through the water in a bathtub or pool, then you’ve experienced friction. But what exactly is it? It’s a result of molecules rubbing against each other as an object moves through the water.
You will also need shaving cream. Nearly all shaving creams have the same basic ingredients. About 80% water, as well as cleaning and moisturizing agents like glycerin or shea butter, that leave skin feeling soft. Adding this soft foam to our recipe creates softer slime, which is better for little hands and helps to balance out the grittiness of the sand. If you don’t have enough shaving cream, supplement it with a hair conditioner.
To make the slime, you’ll need Liquid Starch, which is a common household item in many homes. You can find it at any grocery store or online. When sodium borate in starch comes in contact with water in your glue, they form an ion called borate ion. Borate ions link the long polymer molecules in glue to each other, so they can’t slide as easily. You can change the consistency of slime by changing the ratio of glue to starch. We tried making stretchier slime by adding a few drops of water to our basic recipe above, and it worked. Be sure to follow the safety instructions when using Liquid Starch, as it can be hazardous if ingested.
Now that you have all of your ingredients and supplies ready, it’s time to dive into making your own shark slime!
Making Shark Slime
To make shark slime, the first step is to pour your glue into the mixing bowl. Next, add shaving cream, sand, and Liquid Starch stirring after each addition.
It’s important to note that the amount of liquid starch needed may vary depending on the brand of glue you are using, so it’s best to add it gradually until the slime reaches the desired consistency. We started with 1/2 cup and ended up adding 1/4 cup more to achieve the most favorable consistency.
Once your slime has formed, it’s time to add in the shark-themed accessories. This can include small plastic sharks, seashells, or even glitter to give it some extra sparkle. Mix in your accessories until they are evenly distributed throughout the slime.
With your shark slime ready to go, the next step is to have some fun and educational playtime.
Playing with Shark Slime
With your shark slime in hand and the accessories mixed in, it’s time to get creative. The possibilities for playing with shark slime are endless and offer a great opportunity for kids to learn about marine life.
They can create their own underwater scenes by molding the slime into rocks, coral, and seaweed and placing the plastic sharks and shells throughout. This encourages imaginative play while also teaching children about ocean ecosystems.
For older children, you can make it a science lesson by discussing the properties of slime and how it changes with different ingredients added in.
But before you begin playing, it’s important to go over some safety tips to ensure a fun and safe experience.
Do you want to go deeper with this activity? Download The Scientific Method pack below!
But before you start making your own shark slime at home, it’s important to go over some safety tips to ensure a fun and safe experience. First and foremost, make sure to supervise children during the activity, as some of the ingredients can be harmful if ingested.
When handling the borax powder, liquid starch, or contact lens solution, it’s important to wear gloves and avoid touching your eyes or mouth. If the solution accidentally gets into your eyes, flush them with water immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.
It’s also a good idea to do a patch test on a small area of skin before handling large amounts of slime, especially if you or anyone in your household has sensitive skin or allergies. And, as with any activity involving small objects, make sure to keep the plastic sharks and shells out of reach of young children to prevent choking hazards.
By following these simple safety tips, you can enjoy making your own shark slime while ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. With your new knowledge of marine life and slime science, you and your family can have a fun and educational Shark Week celebration.
Shark Slime Recipe
What you need
6oz container of Blue Glitter Glue (we used Elmer’s)
1/2 cup of shaving cream and/or hair conditioner
1/4-1/2 cup of sand
½ – 3/4 cup liquid starch
Small world shark(s) and sea shells
(Optional) blue food coloring and blue glitter
Spoon or spatula for mixing
PIN it for later >>>
What to do
Pour the whole container of glue into a bowl.
Mix in about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sand.
(Optional) Add glitter and food coloring!
Add about 1/2 cup of shaving cream and/or hair conditioner.
Pour in ½ cup of liquid starch.
Now mix with a spoon until the slime forms into a ball, and then knead it a few times with your hands to get to the right consistency. At this point, our slime was very slimy and stretchy but a bit too sticky for our taste, so we added another 1/4 cup of starch.
Time to play!
In conclusion, making your own shark slime is a fun and educational activity for Shark Week. By understanding the science behind slime and following the step-by-step instructions in this article, you can create a slimy masterpiece with your kids. Not only is it a great bonding experience, but it also teaches them important lessons in science. Remember to follow safety tips, be creative, and have fun! As the great Albert Einstein once said, “Play is the highest form of research.” So, let’s get slimy and discover the wonders of science together!