August 18, 2010

GAK!

This substance is super cool! 
Your kids (and any nearby adults) will spend hours 
squishing, smushing, and stretching it 
to discover all its amazing properties!



Here's what you need:

Elmer's glue (4 oz bottle)
Borax (powder found in the laundry aisle)

food coloring

water


Here's what to do:

1. Put 1/2 cup water in a bowl. Pour in the whole bottle of glue and mix together.


2. Add food coloring to make your favorite colors and mix well again.


3. In a separate container (one with a spout for pouring is helpful) heat one cup of water. (I just microwaved it for a minute). Add 1 tbsp of the Borax, and mix well until it dissolves. Add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of Borax to the water and stir until dissolved again. Continue adding 1/2 tsp at a time until no more will dissolve. (I ended up adding 3 or 4 more 1/2 teaspoons).


4. Pour the Borax water into your glue mixture and stir well. It will immediately start to clump together. Continue stirring until you have a glob in the center and liquid around it.



5. Carefully lift out the glob. It'll be really slimy and sticky. Squish it in your hands until it solidifies more. It will lose some of its sliminess and hold its shape more. Pour out the excess liquid.


6. HAVE FUN!!! You and your children will discover all sorts of fun ways to stretch and play with your Gak! If you pull it slowly it'll stretch out. If you pull it apart quickly, it'll break. Set one glob on top of another and watch it "melt" together. Lots of fun!








7. Store your Gak in a covered container or plastic bag. It'll last for a few weeks.




30 comments:

  1. OK, this might be tons of fun for a birthday party this weekend! Did it stain clothing or skin?

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  2. Jen, it should be fine! The only stage where you'd want to be careful is when you're mixing it so the food coloring or glue doesn't spill. Otherwise, once the Gak is removed from the excess water and you squeeze it a little to get rid of the sliminess, it shouldn't stain or be sticky at all.

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you try it.

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  3. One more thing... once the Gak is fully formed, consider it like a piece of chewed gum. If it drops on the carpet or clothing, you can pick it right back up and it's fine. However, if it sits there for awhile or gets stepped on or smushed in, it will stick to it.

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  4. you are such a martha stewart laura....start your own business already!

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  5. OK, so I made this with my boys and they played for hours with it. Then my 4yr old got some on his shorts and quietly changed and threw them in the laundry. Today (one day later) I noticed it and it doesn't seem to come off too easily. Any tips? You think just soaking it will help? Thanks!

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  6. Anna said...

    OK, so I made this with my boys and they played for hours with it. Then my 4yr old got some on his shorts and quietly changed and threw them in the laundry. Today (one day later) I noticed it and it doesn't seem to come off too easily. Any tips? You think just soaking it will help? Thanks!

    Oh no! I would think since it's mostly glue, soaking it in warm, almost hot, water and then rubbing it might work. (That's how I did the glue batik projects I'd posted about.) Good luck.

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  7. I love this tutorial! I hope you don't mind that I featured you on my blog:
    http://allawesomelinks.blogspot.com/2011/07/make-your-own-gak.html

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  8. I made this but it didn't turn out. It was more solid. Instead of stretching it broke apart. I'd say it was more like scrambled eggs. I used a 225ml bottle of glue. Should I have used a different size?

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  9. Anon - I also made this and it turned out alot more solid - after reviewing (several times to see what i missed since i thought i read it thoroughly!) i forgot to add the 1/2 cup of water WITH the glue + food coloring. I think that would render alot more pliable gak instead of a silly putty of sorts... :)

    thanks for the recipe, now to buy another glue....

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  10. Not to tattle but please take a look at this Borax can be very harmful especially to little children.
    http://www.magicalchildhood.com/articles/borax.htm

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  11. Liquid starch works as well as the borax does...and you don't have to do all of that measuring and mixing! My kids at school LOVED this project!

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  12. Slowly stretch it out and loosely put a straw underneath. Then blow. If you close up the outer edges, it will make a giant bubble!

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  13. Is this safe if it is eaten. We all know how children love to put stuff in their mouths and they will eat anything.

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  14. My boys love playing with this along with a small plastic jar. There is just something about the noises it makes while taking it in and out that just amuses boys. Go figure :).

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  15. No, GAK would not be safe if eaten, since it contains Borax. If your children are still at the stage where they eat anything or put things in their mouth, I'd either supervise them very carefully or wait until they're a bit older to play with this.

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  16. i tried this and it didnt come out right. It never solidified enough. i tried needing it but it was very hard to hold on to and stood liquidy and sticky...maybe if i get brave enough we'll try again :(

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  17. Borax is poisonous. I'm very careful when using it to whiten laundry on occasion and make sure I don't breath in any of its dust. I definitely wouldn't let children play with it. Go with the corn starch instead.

    Poison reports suggest misuse of borax-based pesticides can result in acute toxicity, with symptoms including vomiting, eye irritation, nausea, skin rash, oral irritation and respiratory effects. Toddlers and young children face special risks from hand-to-mouth transfer of carpet or crack and crevice, dust or spray borax treatments.
    Borax and its cousin, boric acid, may disrupt hormones and harm the male reproductive system. Men working in boric acid-producing factories have a greater risk of decreased sperm count and libido. According to EPA's safety review of these pesticides, chronic exposure to high doses of borax or boric acid causes testicular atrophy in male mice, rats and dogs.
    EPA Safety Review
    http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0062-0004

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  18. I've taken the following info below about Boarz toxicity and dangers from http://www.greenfootsteps.com/borax-information.html:

    Borax information: what is it exactly?

    The chemical formula for household borax is B4O7Na2. 10H2O. Borax is a name for several different similar chemical compounds, of which probably the commonest is sodium decahydrate. They all contain sodium and boron. Boric acid or boracic acid is an acid which can be derived from borax.

    Boron, a valuable trace metal in foods and soils, is quite toxic in excess. In fact, it is so toxic that it can be used as a herbicide. Borax itself is also quite toxic, which means that safe handling and storage are imperative. It's toxic enough to kill ants, fleas and cockroaches and other unwanted insect life.

    Its effects upon the environment are not yet well documented but it can be toxic to aquatic life if too concentrated. It is regarded by the Australian government as a low threat to the environment but a moderate threat to health.

    Borax information: just how safe is borax?

    This is the most crucial borax information - and yet reports about borax safety give a rather mixed message. Here's what I've gleaned about borax safety.

    Borax needs to be stored carefully because it is toxic if ingested. While this may be unlikely to happen, even by accident, anyone using it should be aware because of the dangers of very young children playing with it.

    Even as little as a teaspoonful could prove fatal if swallowed by a young child. For this reason, be very careful if using it anywhere near food and wipe up spills immediately. (See below for safety advice when using borax.)

    There is a slight hazard of contamination through skin contact. It may cause irritation and redness from prolonged contact. If you have any cuts or abrasions on your hands you should use rubber gloves when handling it or using it in solution.

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  19. Is there a way to make smaller amounts of GAK? I work at a daycare and I think this would be really fun for a science day!

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  20. We love this stuff!! Ours has lasted for 2 months! We store in a glass container at room temp. Amazing. My kids love it.

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  21. Just made this with the 5 year old I nanny for. He LOVED it! It kept him entertained for over an hour, which is hard to do. Your ideas are great.

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  22. Hi, is there a substitute for the Borax??

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  23. You can also just do liquid starch and glue it works the same but less mess and you can change the consistancy of the final product. You can put it in a zip baggie for little ones to squish it to mix

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  24. Is there a substitute for the Borax?? I live in Costa Rica and i dont know where i can found Borax here :/

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  25. Vinegar breaks it apart. I had a student get it stuck in their hair. We tried everything, then happened to discover the vinegar dissolved the gak

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  26. http://www.crunchybetty.com/getting-to-the-bottom-of-borax-is-it-safe-or-not for those worried about Borax this post helped me...

    Can't wait to try this!

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  27. You can dye it with tempera paint too. Stains a *little* less.

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  28. I wanted to buy borax (i'm from Belgium) and it is not sold here because of its toxicity.
    I read in the comments that corn starch is a good replacer?

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  29. www.rockmybabynannyagency.co.ukAmiable articles and the blogs really helped me a lot, thanks for the valuable information.

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