Monday, August 19, 2013

DIY Bouncy Ball

Bouncy balls are pretty popular in our house.  The kids love launching them off the stairs onto the tile and watching them bounce around.  The balls don't last long though because they either get lost, or the dog snatches it and chews it.  Have you ever seen a dog chase a bouncy ball?  It's highly entertaining.
You will need:
1/2 tsp Borax

1 Tbsp corn starch

1 Tbsp Elmer's Glue-All

2 Tbsp warm water

food color (optional)

measuring spoons

2 bowls
 Mixture #1 - 1st Bowl - Add 2 tablespoons of warm water plus 1/2 teaspoon of Borax and stir to dissolve the Borax as much as possible. Add food color to this mixture if desired & mix.
Bowl #2 - Pour in 1 tablespoon Elmer's Glue-All Add 1/2 teaspoon of the above Borax mixture and 1 tablespoon corn starch DO NOT MIX! Let mixture stand for about 15 seconds then mix the ingredients until it becomes too hard to do so. You will be able to tell when the time is right - it will get clumpy and combined together. At that point, take out the mixture into your hand and quickly knead it in a circular pattern to form your ball. (Think of when you make a ball with play dough.) It starts out as a sticky, gooey mess but it quickly starts to solidify so you must mold it quickly.

After reading through the directions I decided to wait until the kids were in bed to try this one out.  It was time sensitive and involved Borax so I figured it would be easier on my own. 

I mixed up my first bowl
 Then my second bowl

 and rolled it around and around in my hand until I had a wet but firm ball. (notice the wet splotch next to the ball.  I wanted to see if it would bounce while wet, it bounced ok but left those wet spots everywhere it landed)

The Verdict: I think this is what you would call an Epic Fail! First of all, I had to babysit it for the first hour I had it sitting out to dry.  It kept schlumping on the counter so I had to keep re-rolling it into a ball.  Wet things don't like to stay in a perfect ball shape.

Eventually I gave up trying to help it keep a perfect shape and decided I didn't care if I had a lopsided ball.  When it was fully hard I got my camera and let it bounce. 

And what a bounce it was. The ball made it a full 1/2 inch off the counter.  Amaaaaaazing!

I picked it up to see if I could get a better bounce and saw this.  The dang thing had cracked after one bounce

 Did you notice the angry eyes behind my hand?  My daughter was not happy that I had a bouncy ball and wasn't sharing it with her.  You can imagine how annoyed she got when she caught me throwing it away.

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