Funny Putty

Your Challenge: Stretch your mind and learn chemistry by making Funny Putty! Funny Putty


1/4 cup white glue

1 teaspoon household borax

1 cup water

8 oz paper cup

Wooden stirrer

Here’s How:

  1. Dissolve the borax in the cup of water.
  2. Pour the glue into the paper cup.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of the borax water to the glue, and stir really well.
  4. The glue turns into a blob! Pick it up with your hands, and start kneading it and stretching it.

Take It Further:

Add food dye and glitter to create fun colors for your funny putty!


How It Works:

The borax acts as a cross-linking agent or “connector” for the glue molecules. As the glue molecules become larger, after being linked, they become polymers. Thus, the solution begins to thicken and gel.

Fun Facts:

  • Silly Putty was one of the most popular toys of the 20th century, after it was developed by accident.
  • Astronauts in the Apollo 8 mission in 1968 brought silly putty with them to the moon.
  • In the 1950s, the Smithsonian Institution added Silly Putty to their exhibits.
  • Binney and Smith, the creators of Crayola, bought the rights to the Silly Putty brand in 1977.
  • Silly Putty was invented during World War II in New Haven, CT, when trying to find a solution to the rubber shortage.


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