Honey, the golden treasure made by bees, has long been a symbol of sweetness. Now, you can capture the beauty of honey in a craft that most kids will love. Learn how to make honey slime at home. In this engaging activity, children use common household ingredients, glue, water and borax to create a shimmering, gooey concoction that mimics the mesmerizing allure of honey.
Involving young folks in bee related crafts, is one of the best way to introduce the importance of honey bees and other pollinators. This easy recipe for honey slime will bring the fun and lore of bees into your home.
The Science Behind Slime – Honey or Otherwise
There are many recipes for making slime but I will use one of the most common. Water, glue and borax when mixed together in the right proportions create a fun little experiment.
In truth, this tutorial for honey slime is a science project. It is a basic chemistry experiment where combining 2 different things together results in a reaction that changes their molecular structure.
Slime is a non-Newtonian fluid, which means its viscosity or the way it flows – changes with applied force.
We begin the process with glue which has long chain polymers. Adding the activator (borax) transforms the glue into a more semi-solid material. When we squeeze the slime in our hand, the applied force temporarily breaks the chain allowing the slime to flow.
- clear glue
- borax (just a little)
We being with a small bottle of clear glue. The common clear school glue is fine – there is no need to spend a lot of money.
Borax can be purchased from craft supply stores but you may already have some in your washroom. It can also be found in the laundry section of most grocery stores. I use it as a laundry detergent booster for a really dirty load of jeans.
A Little Water Please
Plain tap water is the last ingredient of the basic recipe for honey slime. We need some that is warm and some that is room temperature. You don’t have to heat the water – you can use it out of the tap.
You “could” put some actual honey in this slime – but I think it is messy enough on its own. Also, there is no real reason to add real honey.
We are simply making a fun honey bee craft that provides the illusion of bees in honey. Instead, let’s use some yellow and brown gel food coloring to tint our project to a respectable honey color.
For fun and sparkle, let’s add some gold (extra fine) glitter and some small pieces (plastic or resin). Of course, these are optional and you certainly can omit them if you wish.
1. Begin by mixing the borax and hot tap water (measurements below) in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
2. In another bowl, add the room temperature water and the clear glue and stir until very well blended.
3. Now it is time to add a bit of food coloring – this is needed to get that beautiful color we want in our honey slime. I use yellow gel food coloring and you do not need a lot.
To give your honey slime a sparkle – you can add extra fine glitter to the mixture. Be sure to use extra fine to avoid a scratchy feeling. Young children seem to enjoy the addition of small plastic bees to complete the illusion of honey.
4. Now pour the contents of the bowl with glue and glitter into the bowl with borax water and let sit for 30 seconds. You will see some reaction.
5. After 30 seconds, take your hand and kneed the slime mixture in the water. The material will begin to clump together. If it still feels a bit too sticky, add a pinch more of borax to the water. When satisfied, remove from water and store.
A slime recipe is not carved in stone. Ingredient amounts may need to vary a bit due to temperature and humidity. This recipe makes a firmer slime that is not too runny.
Let your kids experiment and use problem solving skills to decide exactly how much glue or water/borax they need to get just the perfect consistency that they wish.
Honey slime can be messy. Prepare for some spills and drips ahead of time. Don’t let the young ones wear their best clothes when creating slime masterpieces.
This is a time for play clothes – plastic table cloths and maybe even a drop cloth on the floor. The cleaner of choice for most slime spills seems to be white vinegar.
Use and Storage
Because slime is a non-Newtonian fluid, pressure affects how it moves. Unlike playdough that responds to gentle slow squeezing – slime moves best with quicker movements. Handle it quickly with faster finger motions.
Be sure to store your homemade slime in an airtight container a lid. It should last several weeks – especially with borax as an ingredient. If you notice any mold – it’s time to make a new batch.
Sometimes, we may think that the kids like it because it can be messy. Perhaps there is some truth in that – but there is more going on here than you may think.
Working slime with your hands creates a calming feeling. This type of sensory play is often lacking for older kids. A messy tactile experience may be just the thing they need to explore and refocus.
Playtime is a great opportunity to talk about how bees make honey. They use nectar not pollen as many people think.
If this project has really got you buzzing to try more fun bee-themed crafts, here are a few ideas.
If you love the idea of reusing and recycling, a great idea for the older kids are these golf ball honey bees. Suitable for older children or adults with a bit more dexterity, they make a cute addition to any bee decor.
Another project that is super easy and works well with younger children is to create a tin bee for the garden. While no honey bees will liver here, it does provide a home for solitary insects such as mason bees.
Create a bee candy dish jar using clay pots for a whimsical gift! Or sit down with the younger kid for a traditional craft, learn how to make a bee with craft sticks and pipe cleaners. What a great opportunity to talk about the importance of insects.
Slime is a mixture of a type of glue and activator. Borax and water are commonly used but some recipes call for a saline solution or corn starch.
No, you should not be worried about children playing with your homemade slime. It is not edible – so keep that in mind when deciding which ages is most appropriate for this project.
Monitor play especially in younger children and watch for any allergies. If your child has sensitive skin – monitor them closely at first. And, look for any signs of redness after a short play time.
If your slime is too sticky, add more of the slime activator (borax solution, saline solution, or liquid starch) in small increments until it reaches the desired consistency.
Why do people enjoy crafting? It’s fun, creative and a great way to spend time with family and friends. Enjoy making honey slime with the kids these early years will pass all too soon.
And, while this project is not edible, there is no harm in having a few homemade honey sticks on hand. Everyone deserves a sweet treat from the hive after all this hard work.
Honey Slime Recipe and Tutorial
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- 2 small bowls
- Add 1 cup of hot water and the borax to a small bowl and stir well.
- Pour the glue into a small bowl and add 1/4 cup of room temperature water. Stir gently but firmly until well mixed.
- Add your food coloring to the glue mixture. Gel food coloring works well. I use 5 drops of yellow. Then mix a bit of red and green to make a brown and added only a small bit of that trying to achieve a perfect honey color. Stir well.
- To this colored glue mixture – extra fine glitter can be added – it really makes the honey slime colors pop. Use extra fine glitter to avoid a scratchy feeling and you only need a little. I add 1/2 tsp of gold and 1/2 tsp of dark gold.
- If you wish to really go for the bee theme – now is the time to add your small plastic bees, bee buttons or gold sequins (etc) to your glue mixture – stir them in.
- Pour this glue mixture into the bowl with water mixture or borax solution. Let sit for 30 seconds. You will see the mixture start to form a clump or form a glob.
- After 30 seconds, use your hand to grab the honey slime and put it into an empty bowl. Kneed it for a few seconds. It may feel sticky as first, if it still feels sticky after a minute of kneading – add a small amount of the borax and water to it.
- Once it reaches the consistency you like- it is time to put it in a jar with a tight lid. Clean up and drips, spills etc right away.