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Toy Chemistry

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Toy Chemistry

In this playful, goopy activity, learners mix two liquids to create a solid (that sometimes acts like a liquid ), using basic household materials such as borax and glue. Learners experiment with stretching, flattening, twisting, rolling, jiggling and cutting this strange concoction to learn about chemical reactions and characteristics of chemical substances known as polymers.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity

English, Spanish

Materials List (per student)

  • 2 tsp. white glue
  • 1/4 tsp. borax
  • 4 tsp. water
  • Food coloring
  • 2 clear plastic cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Plastic spoons
  • Plastic zip-lock bag for storage
  • Plastic knife
  • paper towels


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Touch
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
      • Chemical Reactions
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • WGBH

Source Collection:

  • FETCH! With Ruff Ruffman


  • All Rights Reserved, WGBH Educational Foundation, ©2008

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0714741
  • Public Television Viewers
  • Greendog


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