Monday 28 April 2014

Science for kids: how to make a glitter gel!


Glitter gel is great fun to make and there is a lot of science that can be learnt from making this new toy too. All you will need is three ingredients and these simple instructions to make some yourself...
  • Once made keep the slime away from clothes as it can produce permanent stains, especially if you choose to add food colouring.
  • Store the slime in an air-tight container, like a plastic bag with a twist-tie or an old jam jar. It is best to dip the slime in some water before storing, to keep it from drying out. Slime gets dirty from handling and may become mouldy after several days. When this happens you should throw it away.
  • Do not put it down the sink because it clogs the drain always dispose of in the household waste bins.

What you will need:

  • 40ml Dylon starch
  • 40ml PVA glue 
  • 1-2 teaspoons of glitter - approximately that is: I just let the girls sprinkle glitter!
  • Food colouring (optional)
You will also need the following equipment:
  • A measuring jug
  • A old or plastic cup or bowl.
  • A spoon for mixing
  • Goggles

Measure out the glue into to measuring jug and pour it into your bowl.


Add glitter to the glue and stir well.

If you are wanted to add food colouring do it at this point, 5 to 10 drops depending on how strong you want the colour to be.


IMPORTANT: Make sure you clean your measuring jug really well before you do this next step!

Measure out 40ml of spray starch into your measuring jug. 

TIP: We waited for the foam to settle to be sure we had the right amount of liquid starch.


Pour the liquid starch into the glue and glitter mix and stir and watch the magic happen!

You have made Glitter Gel!  Now play...

Pull it quickly apart what happens?
Now pull it slowly?
Why does it do this?

The gel is a stress-thickening materials are quicksand, wet sand on the beach, starch solutions and Silly Putty.  These materials are dilatant materials.
The definition of dilatant is: A dilatant (also termed shear thickening) material is one in which viscosity increases with the rate of shear. Such a shear thickening fluid, also known by the acronym STF, is an example of a non-Newtonian fluid).  
Dilatants tend to have some unusual properties.  Two of these properties are:
  1. Under low stress, such as slowly pulling on the material, it will flow and stretch. If careful, you can form a thin film.
  2. Under high stress, (pull sharply) and the material breaks.
I personally prefer this type of gel to the borax version because it is safer to play with for smaller people and allows them to be more independent with their experimenting!  As well as this borax is much harder to get hold of these days too!

For further ideas on experimenting with your Glitter Gel and top learn more about gels, click on the picture above to take you to another slime making project that includes other ways of experimenting with your gel for older or more capable young scientists! 


  1. You continue to provide such a brilliant resource here Lisa! x

  2. great thanks Lisa, think Jasmin will like to do thisxx

    1. Lovely to hear. My girls are still playing with it now! It looks like I might have to make some more next week at this rate ;) Have fun x

  3. nice but i cant make it because i dont have the ingedients and i cant buy

  4. coloring pages for kids by and large have a topic of sorts. It may be that they depend on a Disney motion picture, or it is about creatures, or vehicles, or something unique.