Would you like to know how to make flubber? Science is complex and can be intimidating for some students. My favorite way to engage students and ease their fears is to incorporate fun into my labs! Science is fascinating and it is our job as educators to make science accessible! One of my favorite activities to do with my students is making flubber! Read more to learn how to make flubber.
What is Flubber?
Flubber, often confused with slime, is a polymer that is made by mixing together glue, borax, and water. While it is similar to slime, it has some variations that make flubber, and its properties, different from slime!
Making flubber is a great way to teach students about chemical reactions, polymers, and properties of matter. This activity can also help younger students develop their fine motor skills! The process of kneading the flubber requires a lot of hand-eye coordination.
- 1 1⁄2 cups warm water
- 2 cups white glue
- food coloring
- 1 1⁄3 cups warm water
- 3 teaspoons borax
Once you have these materials, you are ready to learn how to make flubber!
How to Make Flubber
- In one container mix 1 1/2 cups warm water, white glue and a few drops of food coloring.
- In a second container mix 1 1/3 cups of warm water and Borax.
- Mix the Borax mixture into the glue mixture until combined. (Don’t panic! There may be some liquid in the bottom of the container).
- Place Flubber on a tray and let stand for a few minutes before playing with it!
- Store in air tight container.
I Made Flubber... Now What?
Lead your class in a discussion about non-newtonian fluids!
Conduct experiments! Does adding different materials change the texture and properties of flubber? What does salt do? Baking soda? Cornstarch?
Make sculptures and shapes with the flubber!
Customize the flubber with fun mix-ins like glitter or foam beads. The possibilities are endless!
What is the Science Behind Flubber?
Flubber is a non-Newtonian fluid, meaning its viscosity changes depending on the amount of stress applied to it. In other words, the more you play with flubber, the more dense it becomes. The main ingredient in most flubber recipes is a type of polymer called polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), which is mixed with a cross-linking agent such as borax, contact lens solution, or saline solution to form the flubber. The cross-linking agent creates bonds between the PVA molecules, which gives the slime its unique properties. If you enjoyed learning how to make flubber, slime is another non-newtonian fluid that is created in a similar way. Visit my blog post on slime here!