Thursday, January 12, 2012

DIY Floam

photo via e-sling.net
Beyond Satire recreated floam! Below is the recipe:

materials:
2 tsp. borax
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup elmer's glue
food coloring
ziploc bag
1 and 2/3 cup of polystyrene beads. 
"You can substitute 2/3 cups micro-beads (1 mm from Jo-Ann Fabrics) and 1 cup bean bag filler (1/8"). You can also grate styrofoam cups or packing peanuts."

how to:
1. Mix borax and 1/2 cup of water. 
2. In another bowl, mix glue and 1/4 cup of water. Add food coloring.
3. Pour the glue solution into the bag. Then, add 3 tbsp of the borax solution, do not mix. 
4. Add the polystyrene beads.
5. Seal bag and knead by hand until mixed. Let the bag stand for 15 minutes. Then knead for a few more minutes. 

33 comments:

  1. can i use POLYPROPYLINE ("poly pellets") transparent beads (a weighted stuffing material used to create posed dolls, plush animals and other crafts) instead of POLYSTYRENE? i couldn't find polystyrene beads at neither Hobby Lobby nor JoAnn Fabrics!

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    Replies
    1. I would guess no, they'd be too heavy and just wouldn't work in the same way that foam does.
      I couldn't find any either, so I'm laboriously pulling apart some packing foam!

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    2. If you have a fabric outlet store they will usually carry big bags of bean bag filler. These are usually small stores that don't really advertise but you can find in your phone book. Also I know Sam's carries them online. So does wal-mart. Look for bean bag filler.

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  2. WalMart online has them and free ship to store. Bean bag filler

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  3. Replies
    1. once dissolved in water, it's safe. steve spangler has lots of experiments using borax for kids

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    2. I used to think it was safe, too, until I started reading up on it.

      http://www.magicalchildhood.com/articles/borax.htm

      This site has info and links to websites (including the US government) about Borax's toxicity and dangers.

      So just because someone has "lots of experiments," doesn't mean it's safe for kids. Acid dissolved in water is still acid. It makes me sad though, because I loved making and playing with experiments using it.

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    3. If you're a teacher, you shouldn't make it in your classroom. You could get in trouble with some parents. If you're a parent, you can decide if you want to make it with your children at home.

      MSDS SAFETY SHEET for BORAX - http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9924967
      Steve Spangler Science Safety Information - http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/safety-information.html

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    4. Let us not forget that styrofoam is bad, bad, bad!

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    5. http://www.health-science-spirit.com/borax.htm

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  4. I agree with being safe but, how many items do you allow your children to play with that are toxic yet you allow them to play with them anyway? Many plastics used to make toys aren't that safe for you children. Borax is a lesser of the evils.

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  5. I agree with Erin. Thank you for posting! If you read the information and scientific studies about Borax it is very dangerous if ingested by a toddler, it can even be fatal....for those thinking..it's safe if dissolved in water...well do you know the exact ratio of water to borax needed to make it *safe*? Also, it's still an acid...even when dilute. I also don't let my child play with toxic plastic toys, there are toys out there that are not toxic, they just aren't sold at regular stores like target or walmart. Home made toys from natural or untreated products are also great. You just have to be an informed parent that cares about their child and the environment in which you live.

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    Replies
    1. Correction, borax is alkaline, not acidic. At high enough levels, it can be toxic, especially in infants. On the other hand, it is about as toxic as common table salt, so finding a safer replacement for borax may prove to be quite difficult. Ironically, replacements for borax in household cleaners are 2-3 times more toxic.

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  6. Acid added to water is actually diluted, not dissolved, and it may still be acid but a lower pH, you're making an acid-base solution. Just make sure you add the acid to the water and not vice versa, it does make a difference!

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  7. Did anyone ever find the polystyrene beads?? I'm having a hard time finding them!

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  8. Ah! This looks like so much fun!

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  9. what would be a good borax replacement, and what is its purpose in this stuff. I will NOT make it if it has borax in it. just not responsible in my opinion.

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    Replies
    1. Good luck finding a replacement considering table salt is about as toxic.

      http://www.health-science-spirit.com/borax.htm

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  10. Slime without borax:
    http://tottreasuresnorthbay.blogspot.com/2012/06/slime.html

    If you don't want clear, use white glue. Add the beads or styrofoam to the recipe.

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    Replies
    1. The liquid starch in the recipe contains sodium tetraborate, among other things. Most of the studies about borax seem to be conducted with boric acid, which is acidic, and not sodium borate or sodium tetraborate, which are alkaline. I don't see safety concerns with borax being greater than most items that children are around, but if you do then the liquid starch product is not going to meet those needs.
      http://www.crunchybetty.com/getting-to-the-bottom-of-borax-is-it-safe-or-not

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  11. If you watch your children then it's not an issue......I use borax with my toddler class all the time ...not one child in my 24 years of teaching has eaten it....

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  12. Just let the dang kids play and have fun! :) Its FLOAM.

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    Replies
    1. AMEN!!!!!! When i was a child we rode in a car without car seats, or seat belts for that matter. We rode in the box of a pick up. We swam in the dugout. We skated and played hockey on a dugout as well. I ate fertilizer and the only thing that happened was i grew to almost 6 ft. Lol. I drove my bicycle on a dirt road without a helmet.
      U no all that processed food and the crap i see kids eating everyday in schools have long term effects on childrenthen eating i teeny bit of fertilizer or something toxic.

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  13. Hi I'm in Australia and searched for borax everywhere but no luck. I spoke with a couple of elderly ladies in a shop an they seemed to think that Bi-carb soda would do the same as borax and be safe. Do u know if bi-carb would work?

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    Replies
    1. I have no idea?! Try it and see if it works! Let me know if it does. Borax is hard to find in the U.S. as well.

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    2. Walmart , laundry soap area. Been used for a hundred years. Just dont eat twinkies and everything will be ok.read the ingredients in a twinkie.

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  14. I truly appreciate you writing these as your insight has made me think a lot about this topic. Thank you!

    alkaline water

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  15. I played with this as a kid, so I'm trying this with my 10,6,4, and 2 year old this weekend, I will give an utd to let everyone kno how well it works, now days u can get toxics from the food u buy to the air u breath, more and more kids are getting weakened immune systems due to over protection and not letting their body's learn how to fight infections without dependants of meds, so I'm going to be a kid and join my kids and create memories :-) thanks for the recipe

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  16. What is 5/3 cup? I'm not familiar with this measurement?

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  17. Anyone know if this is safe for kids with a gluten allergy?? The store bought floam is, but not sure about the homemade kind

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  18. That looks like a really neat project for kids, fun to make and fun to play with!

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