Floam was introduced to the world by Mattel via the Nickelodeon channel in the early 1990's. At one time called "bubble-gak", this flexible polymer is made from clay and polystyrene, known commonly as styrofoam. Floam sticks to anything, but can be easily peeled off. It can also be stretched, flattened, and molded into different shapes. Using a homemade floam recipe is cheaper than buying it at the store, plus it is a lot of fun for children to get their hands into.
You Will Need:
3 tsps Borax
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup PVA Glue (Elmer's Glue)
1 3/4 cup Styrofoam beads
What To Do:
2. Add 3/4 cup of water to the small bowl, and add the borax. Stir with the spoon until completely dissolved. Set aside.
3. In the second bowl, mix the 1/2 cup of water and the 1/2 cup of glue together, until thoroughly mixed. Add food coloring a few drops at a time to the solution until the desired color is achieved.
4. Add the styrofoam beads to the gallon bag then pour in the colored glue mixture.
5. Add 3 tablespoons of the water and borax solution to the bag. Seal and squeeze and knead the mixture until it is mixed. Add more food coloring if needed. The leftover borax/water can be used for the next batch.
6. Let the composite sit for about 5 minutes, then knead again. The floam will be ready when all the items are thoroughly mixed and the beads take on a solid appearance.
7. Take the floam out of the plastic bag and play!
Floam is fun for children and adults of all ages. The substance does not harden quickly or dry out too soon, so the creations will last at least a day or two. When making the floam recipe, you might notice it being too watery. If this is the case, add a teaspoon of borax, mix, then let it sit for ten minutes and knead again. For slimier floam, use less borax, as the more borax you use, the stiffer and harder the mixture will be. If the floam dries out, add water a teaspoon at a time and knead in a bag until it becomes the right consistency. You can use floam for science projects, making shapes, letters, and other learning tools for children.
If you are making this with young children, it would be best to let them wait until the end of the process to touch the items. They can knead the baggie and add food coloring, but need to steer clear of borax and glue. Children with tendencies of putting things in their mouths will need to watched carefully when making this substance.
What beads work better: styrofoam, bean bag filler, or microbeads?
Did a chemical or physical change occur?